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Testing a novelty-based extinction procedure for the reduction of conditioned avoidance.
J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2018 09; 60:22-28.JB

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES

Excessive avoidance towards non-dangerous cues is a key diagnostic criterion across anxiety-related disorders. Despite current therapies being successful in reducing such avoidance, relapse rates remain high. Based on recent findings, according to which learned fear responses were reduced after the presentation of the fear stimulus with a novel-neutral event (novel-based extinction), we tested whether novel-based extinction could diminish conditioned avoidance.

METHODS

Forty-six participants completed a Pavlovian acquisition procedure during which two pictures of a spider were presented, one of which (CS+) was always followed by a shock (US), while the other (CS-) was never followed by a US. Next, participants learned that they could avoid the shock by pressing a computer button. An extinction and response procedure followed. During this phase, the control group was presented with both CSs that were not followed by the US. The experimental group encountered both CSs, but the CS+ was followed by a neutral event (i.e., presentation of a tone). Return of avoidance (i.e., button presses) and fear (i.e., US-expectancies and fear-ratings) towards both CSs was tested after three unexpected presentations of the US.

RESULTS

Similar levels of return of avoidance and explicit fear were found for both groups.

LIMITATIONS

We collected no physiological measures of fear and we assessed only the short-term effects of our manipulation.

CONCLUSIONS

Our results do not support the hypothesis that novelty-based extinction reduces avoidance responses. This study can serve as a first exploration of novelty-based extinction for reducing avoidance and explicit measures of fear.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Electronic address: amkrypotos@gmail.com.Department of Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29486371

Citation

Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis, and Iris M. Engelhard. "Testing a Novelty-based Extinction Procedure for the Reduction of Conditioned Avoidance." Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, vol. 60, 2018, pp. 22-28.
Krypotos AM, Engelhard IM. Testing a novelty-based extinction procedure for the reduction of conditioned avoidance. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2018;60:22-28.
Krypotos, A. M., & Engelhard, I. M. (2018). Testing a novelty-based extinction procedure for the reduction of conditioned avoidance. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 60, 22-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2018.02.006
Krypotos AM, Engelhard IM. Testing a Novelty-based Extinction Procedure for the Reduction of Conditioned Avoidance. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2018;60:22-28. PubMed PMID: 29486371.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Testing a novelty-based extinction procedure for the reduction of conditioned avoidance. AU - Krypotos,Angelos-Miltiadis, AU - Engelhard,Iris M, Y1 - 2018/02/19/ PY - 2017/08/19/received PY - 2018/01/27/revised PY - 2018/02/13/accepted PY - 2018/2/28/pubmed PY - 2019/7/30/medline PY - 2018/2/28/entrez KW - Anxiety KW - Fear KW - Phobias KW - Therapy SP - 22 EP - 28 JF - Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry JO - J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry VL - 60 N2 - BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Excessive avoidance towards non-dangerous cues is a key diagnostic criterion across anxiety-related disorders. Despite current therapies being successful in reducing such avoidance, relapse rates remain high. Based on recent findings, according to which learned fear responses were reduced after the presentation of the fear stimulus with a novel-neutral event (novel-based extinction), we tested whether novel-based extinction could diminish conditioned avoidance. METHODS: Forty-six participants completed a Pavlovian acquisition procedure during which two pictures of a spider were presented, one of which (CS+) was always followed by a shock (US), while the other (CS-) was never followed by a US. Next, participants learned that they could avoid the shock by pressing a computer button. An extinction and response procedure followed. During this phase, the control group was presented with both CSs that were not followed by the US. The experimental group encountered both CSs, but the CS+ was followed by a neutral event (i.e., presentation of a tone). Return of avoidance (i.e., button presses) and fear (i.e., US-expectancies and fear-ratings) towards both CSs was tested after three unexpected presentations of the US. RESULTS: Similar levels of return of avoidance and explicit fear were found for both groups. LIMITATIONS: We collected no physiological measures of fear and we assessed only the short-term effects of our manipulation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not support the hypothesis that novelty-based extinction reduces avoidance responses. This study can serve as a first exploration of novelty-based extinction for reducing avoidance and explicit measures of fear. SN - 1873-7943 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29486371/Testing_a_novelty_based_extinction_procedure_for_the_reduction_of_conditioned_avoidance_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0005-7916(17)30193-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -