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Low levels of estradiol are associated with elevated conditioned responding during fear extinction and with intrusive memories in daily life.

Wegerer M, Kerschbaum H, Blechert J, Wilhelm FH - Neurobiol Learn Mem (2014)

Bottom Line: However, although intrusive memories are considered non-extinguished emotional reactions to trauma reminders, none of the previous studies has investigated effects of ovarian hormones on fear conditioning mechanisms and intrusive memories in conjunction.The inverse relationship between estradiol and intrusive memories was at least partially accounted for by the conditioned responding observed during fear extinction.Progesterone levels were not associated with either fear acquisition/extinction or with intrusive memories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstraße 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: melanie.wegerer@sbg.ac.at.

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Relationship between estradiol and conditioned responding during fear extinction. See ANCOVA main effect of estradiol reported in Section 3.3.2. Differential SCR was calculated subtracting ln (1 + SCR) for CS− trials from ln (1 + SCR) for CS+ trials. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient (see Footnote 5).
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f0010: Relationship between estradiol and conditioned responding during fear extinction. See ANCOVA main effect of estradiol reported in Section 3.3.2. Differential SCR was calculated subtracting ln (1 + SCR) for CS− trials from ln (1 + SCR) for CS+ trials. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient (see Footnote 5).

Mentions: Assessing estradiol and progesterone effects on differential SCRs, ANCOVA for habituation revealed neither a significant main effect of Time (F(1, 34) = 0.33, p = .569), nor a main or interaction effect involving estradiol (all Fs(1, 34) < .0.38, ps > .544) or progesterone (all Fs(1, 34) < 0.02, ps > .896). Similarly, during acquisition, no significant main effect of Time (F(1, 34) = 0.17, p = .683) and no main or interaction effects involving estradiol (all Fs(1, 34) < 0.37, ps > .545) or progesterone (all Fs < 0.15, ps > .706) were observed. During extinction, however, the main effect for estradiol was significant (F(1, 34) = 5.43, p = .026, η2 = .14), indicating a linear relationship between estradiol levels and conditioned responding during extinction in the sense that participants with lower levels of estradiol displayed larger differential responses during extinction (see Fig. 2). There was no significant main effect of Time (F(1, 34) = 0.93, p = .343) or other main or interaction effects involving estradiol (F(1, 34) = 0.87, p = .359) or progesterone (all Fs(1, 34) < 0.14, ps > .713) during extinction.8 Including UCR to film clips, anxiety, and depressive symptoms as further control variables into ANCOVAs did not change the significant main effect of estradiol for conditioned responding during extinction (F(1, 31) = 4.81, p = .036, η2 = .13). Furthermore, other main and interaction effects involving estradiol or progesterone during habituation, acquisition or extinction remained non-significant (all Fs(1, 31) < 0.94, ps > .339).


Low levels of estradiol are associated with elevated conditioned responding during fear extinction and with intrusive memories in daily life.

Wegerer M, Kerschbaum H, Blechert J, Wilhelm FH - Neurobiol Learn Mem (2014)

Relationship between estradiol and conditioned responding during fear extinction. See ANCOVA main effect of estradiol reported in Section 3.3.2. Differential SCR was calculated subtracting ln (1 + SCR) for CS− trials from ln (1 + SCR) for CS+ trials. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient (see Footnote 5).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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f0010: Relationship between estradiol and conditioned responding during fear extinction. See ANCOVA main effect of estradiol reported in Section 3.3.2. Differential SCR was calculated subtracting ln (1 + SCR) for CS− trials from ln (1 + SCR) for CS+ trials. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient (see Footnote 5).
Mentions: Assessing estradiol and progesterone effects on differential SCRs, ANCOVA for habituation revealed neither a significant main effect of Time (F(1, 34) = 0.33, p = .569), nor a main or interaction effect involving estradiol (all Fs(1, 34) < .0.38, ps > .544) or progesterone (all Fs(1, 34) < 0.02, ps > .896). Similarly, during acquisition, no significant main effect of Time (F(1, 34) = 0.17, p = .683) and no main or interaction effects involving estradiol (all Fs(1, 34) < 0.37, ps > .545) or progesterone (all Fs < 0.15, ps > .706) were observed. During extinction, however, the main effect for estradiol was significant (F(1, 34) = 5.43, p = .026, η2 = .14), indicating a linear relationship between estradiol levels and conditioned responding during extinction in the sense that participants with lower levels of estradiol displayed larger differential responses during extinction (see Fig. 2). There was no significant main effect of Time (F(1, 34) = 0.93, p = .343) or other main or interaction effects involving estradiol (F(1, 34) = 0.87, p = .359) or progesterone (all Fs(1, 34) < 0.14, ps > .713) during extinction.8 Including UCR to film clips, anxiety, and depressive symptoms as further control variables into ANCOVAs did not change the significant main effect of estradiol for conditioned responding during extinction (F(1, 31) = 4.81, p = .036, η2 = .13). Furthermore, other main and interaction effects involving estradiol or progesterone during habituation, acquisition or extinction remained non-significant (all Fs(1, 31) < 0.94, ps > .339).

Bottom Line: However, although intrusive memories are considered non-extinguished emotional reactions to trauma reminders, none of the previous studies has investigated effects of ovarian hormones on fear conditioning mechanisms and intrusive memories in conjunction.The inverse relationship between estradiol and intrusive memories was at least partially accounted for by the conditioned responding observed during fear extinction.Progesterone levels were not associated with either fear acquisition/extinction or with intrusive memories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstraße 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: melanie.wegerer@sbg.ac.at.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus