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Extinction during memory reconsolidation blocks recovery of fear in adolescents.

Johnson DC, Casey BJ - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: During memory reconsolidation, a memory that is recalled becomes labile during which time it can be updated.Prior research has shown that extinction training during memory reconsolidation attenuates the recovery of fear memory in human adults and in rodents.Using this method, we show attenuation of fear memory in adolescent humans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, New York, NY 10065, USA.

ABSTRACT
Adolescence is a time of intensified emotional experiences, during which anxiety and stress-related disorders peak. The most effective behavioral therapies for treating these disorders share exposure-based techniques as a core component. Exposure-based therapies build on the principles of fear extinction learning and involve desensitizing the individual to cues that trigger anxiety. Yet, recent evidence shows an adolescent-specific diminished capacity to extinguish fear responses, suggesting that adolescents may respond less well to exposure-based therapies than other age groups. Here we demonstrate an alternative method for blocking the recall of fear memories in adolescents, building on principles of memory reconsolidation in adults. During memory reconsolidation, a memory that is recalled becomes labile during which time it can be updated. Prior research has shown that extinction training during memory reconsolidation attenuates the recovery of fear memory in human adults and in rodents. Using this method, we show attenuation of fear memory in adolescent humans. These findings have significant implications for treating one of the most vulnerable populations to anxiety and stress related disorders - adolescents - by optimizing exposure therapy based on principles of memory reconsolidation.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Acquisition, extinction and recovery of fear memory by age group.(a) There were no differences in differential skin conductance response (SCR) of the CS+ and CS− by age group during acquisition [F(1, 70) = .979, p = .33] and a main effect of time [F(1, 70) = 4.564, p = .036] in the mean SCR difference (CS+–CS−) score from early to late trials. (b) There was an interaction of age group x time in extinction learning as indexed by differential SCR of the CS+ and CS− [F(1, 70) = 3.913, p = .05]. Post hoc t-tests showed significant within-session extinction learning for adults (t = 4.34, p < .0002) but not for adolescents (t = 1.78, p = .08). All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. two-tailed t-test. (c) Diminished fear memory with reconsolidation update. Participants who were reminded of the conditioned stimulus 10 minutes prior to extinction showed no recovery of fear 24 hours later, as indexed by SCR responses to the first CS+ trial of re-extinction (experimental day 3). There was a main effect of experimental condition [F(1, 70) = 6.263, p = .015] and no age group x experimental condition interaction [F(1, 70) = .002, p = .966]. All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. *p = .05, **p < .05.
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f2: Acquisition, extinction and recovery of fear memory by age group.(a) There were no differences in differential skin conductance response (SCR) of the CS+ and CS− by age group during acquisition [F(1, 70) = .979, p = .33] and a main effect of time [F(1, 70) = 4.564, p = .036] in the mean SCR difference (CS+–CS−) score from early to late trials. (b) There was an interaction of age group x time in extinction learning as indexed by differential SCR of the CS+ and CS− [F(1, 70) = 3.913, p = .05]. Post hoc t-tests showed significant within-session extinction learning for adults (t = 4.34, p < .0002) but not for adolescents (t = 1.78, p = .08). All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. two-tailed t-test. (c) Diminished fear memory with reconsolidation update. Participants who were reminded of the conditioned stimulus 10 minutes prior to extinction showed no recovery of fear 24 hours later, as indexed by SCR responses to the first CS+ trial of re-extinction (experimental day 3). There was a main effect of experimental condition [F(1, 70) = 6.263, p = .015] and no age group x experimental condition interaction [F(1, 70) = .002, p = .966]. All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. *p = .05, **p < .05.

Mentions: The results from the acquisition phase are shown in Fig. 2A. There was a main effect of stimulus type [F(1,70) = 54.78, p < .0001] indicating greater SCR to the CS+ than the CS− (t(73) = 7.52, p < .0001) across all participants and a main effect of time [F(1, 70) = 4.564, p = .036] in the mean SCR difference (CS+–CS−) score from early to late trials (Figure 2A). These results confirm that participants learned to distinguish between the CS+ (threat cue) and the CS− (safety cue). Adolescents and adults showed equivalent fear acquisition across age groups [F(1, 70) = .956, p = .33] and across experimental conditions [F(1, 70) = .23, p = .64]. Thus subsequent group effects are unlikely due to group differences in reactivity to specific stimulus categories or strength of conditioning.


Extinction during memory reconsolidation blocks recovery of fear in adolescents.

Johnson DC, Casey BJ - Sci Rep (2015)

Acquisition, extinction and recovery of fear memory by age group.(a) There were no differences in differential skin conductance response (SCR) of the CS+ and CS− by age group during acquisition [F(1, 70) = .979, p = .33] and a main effect of time [F(1, 70) = 4.564, p = .036] in the mean SCR difference (CS+–CS−) score from early to late trials. (b) There was an interaction of age group x time in extinction learning as indexed by differential SCR of the CS+ and CS− [F(1, 70) = 3.913, p = .05]. Post hoc t-tests showed significant within-session extinction learning for adults (t = 4.34, p < .0002) but not for adolescents (t = 1.78, p = .08). All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. two-tailed t-test. (c) Diminished fear memory with reconsolidation update. Participants who were reminded of the conditioned stimulus 10 minutes prior to extinction showed no recovery of fear 24 hours later, as indexed by SCR responses to the first CS+ trial of re-extinction (experimental day 3). There was a main effect of experimental condition [F(1, 70) = 6.263, p = .015] and no age group x experimental condition interaction [F(1, 70) = .002, p = .966]. All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. *p = .05, **p < .05.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4352863&req=5

f2: Acquisition, extinction and recovery of fear memory by age group.(a) There were no differences in differential skin conductance response (SCR) of the CS+ and CS− by age group during acquisition [F(1, 70) = .979, p = .33] and a main effect of time [F(1, 70) = 4.564, p = .036] in the mean SCR difference (CS+–CS−) score from early to late trials. (b) There was an interaction of age group x time in extinction learning as indexed by differential SCR of the CS+ and CS− [F(1, 70) = 3.913, p = .05]. Post hoc t-tests showed significant within-session extinction learning for adults (t = 4.34, p < .0002) but not for adolescents (t = 1.78, p = .08). All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. two-tailed t-test. (c) Diminished fear memory with reconsolidation update. Participants who were reminded of the conditioned stimulus 10 minutes prior to extinction showed no recovery of fear 24 hours later, as indexed by SCR responses to the first CS+ trial of re-extinction (experimental day 3). There was a main effect of experimental condition [F(1, 70) = 6.263, p = .015] and no age group x experimental condition interaction [F(1, 70) = .002, p = .966]. All results are presented as a mean ± SEM. *p = .05, **p < .05.
Mentions: The results from the acquisition phase are shown in Fig. 2A. There was a main effect of stimulus type [F(1,70) = 54.78, p < .0001] indicating greater SCR to the CS+ than the CS− (t(73) = 7.52, p < .0001) across all participants and a main effect of time [F(1, 70) = 4.564, p = .036] in the mean SCR difference (CS+–CS−) score from early to late trials (Figure 2A). These results confirm that participants learned to distinguish between the CS+ (threat cue) and the CS− (safety cue). Adolescents and adults showed equivalent fear acquisition across age groups [F(1, 70) = .956, p = .33] and across experimental conditions [F(1, 70) = .23, p = .64]. Thus subsequent group effects are unlikely due to group differences in reactivity to specific stimulus categories or strength of conditioning.

Bottom Line: During memory reconsolidation, a memory that is recalled becomes labile during which time it can be updated.Prior research has shown that extinction training during memory reconsolidation attenuates the recovery of fear memory in human adults and in rodents.Using this method, we show attenuation of fear memory in adolescent humans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, New York, NY 10065, USA.

ABSTRACT
Adolescence is a time of intensified emotional experiences, during which anxiety and stress-related disorders peak. The most effective behavioral therapies for treating these disorders share exposure-based techniques as a core component. Exposure-based therapies build on the principles of fear extinction learning and involve desensitizing the individual to cues that trigger anxiety. Yet, recent evidence shows an adolescent-specific diminished capacity to extinguish fear responses, suggesting that adolescents may respond less well to exposure-based therapies than other age groups. Here we demonstrate an alternative method for blocking the recall of fear memories in adolescents, building on principles of memory reconsolidation in adults. During memory reconsolidation, a memory that is recalled becomes labile during which time it can be updated. Prior research has shown that extinction training during memory reconsolidation attenuates the recovery of fear memory in human adults and in rodents. Using this method, we show attenuation of fear memory in adolescent humans. These findings have significant implications for treating one of the most vulnerable populations to anxiety and stress related disorders - adolescents - by optimizing exposure therapy based on principles of memory reconsolidation.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus