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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.

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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 intrusive memory strength. Values of intrusive memory strength represent sum scores of t-scores of Intrusive Memory Questionnaire (IMQ) items (number, duration, and distress of intrusive memories) averaged across days 0–2. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient.
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f0015: Relationship between estradiol and intrusive memory strength. Values of intrusive memory strength represent sum scores of t-scores of Intrusive Memory Questionnaire (IMQ) items (number, duration, and distress of intrusive memories) averaged across days 0–2. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient.

Mentions: Table 1 displays means and standard deviations for intrusive memories as measured by the three items of the IMQ on days 0–2 after the laboratory session. Importantly, we observed a significant negative correlation between levels of estradiol and intrusive memory strength reported on days 0–2 (ρ(37) = −.36, p = .030), indicating that women with lower levels of estradiol reported overall larger intrusive memory strength relating to the film clips used in the conditioning procedure (see Fig. 3). However, intrusive memories did not significantly correlate with progesterone (ρ(37) = −.08, p = .656). Partialling out UCR to film clips, anxiety, and depressive symptoms did not change these results much (estradiol: ρ(32) = −.38, p = .026, progesterone: ρ(32) = −.09, p = .605).


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 intrusive memory strength. Values of intrusive memory strength represent sum scores of t-scores of Intrusive Memory Questionnaire (IMQ) items (number, duration, and distress of intrusive memories) averaged across days 0–2. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4256064&req=5

f0015: Relationship between estradiol and intrusive memory strength. Values of intrusive memory strength represent sum scores of t-scores of Intrusive Memory Questionnaire (IMQ) items (number, duration, and distress of intrusive memories) averaged across days 0–2. ρ: Spearman correlation coefficient.
Mentions: Table 1 displays means and standard deviations for intrusive memories as measured by the three items of the IMQ on days 0–2 after the laboratory session. Importantly, we observed a significant negative correlation between levels of estradiol and intrusive memory strength reported on days 0–2 (ρ(37) = −.36, p = .030), indicating that women with lower levels of estradiol reported overall larger intrusive memory strength relating to the film clips used in the conditioning procedure (see Fig. 3). However, intrusive memories did not significantly correlate with progesterone (ρ(37) = −.08, p = .656). Partialling out UCR to film clips, anxiety, and depressive symptoms did not change these results much (estradiol: ρ(32) = −.38, p = .026, progesterone: ρ(32) = −.09, p = .605).

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