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How disappointing: Startle modulation reveals conditional stimuli presented after pleasant unconditional stimuli acquire negative valence.
Psychophysiology. 2020 08; 57(8):e13563.P

Abstract

Past research on backward conditioning in evaluative and fear conditioning yielded inconsistent results in that self-report measures suggest that the conditional stimulus (CS) acquired the valence of the unconditional stimulus (US) in fear conditioning (assimilation effects), but the opposite valence in evaluative conditioning (contrast effects). Conversely, implicit measures of CS valence suggest assimilation effects in evaluative backward conditioning, whereas startle modulation indicates contrast effects in backward fear conditioning. The current study investigated whether US intensity could account for the dissociation on implicit measures between fear and evaluative conditioning. Self-report measures of evaluative learning indicated assimilation effects for forward conditioning, whereas backward contrast effects were observed with intense USs only. Blink startle modulation indicated assimilation effects in forward conditioning and contrast effects in backward conditioning, regardless of US intensity. Experiment 2 included a neutral US in order to assess whether the offset of the positive US elicits an opponent emotional response that mirrors relief (disappointment), which is thought to mediate the reduction in startle seen during backward CSs in fear conditioning. This opponent emotional response was evident as startle magnitude during backward CSs increased linearly with increasing US pleasantness. Omission of the forward CSs led to an assimilation effect in self-report measures. The current results extend our understanding of emotional learning to stimuli encountered after salient emotional events. Startle reflects the emotion prevailing after US offset, relief or disappointment, whereas self-report measures seem more attuned to factors such as US predictability and intensity.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Psychology, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia.School of Psychology, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia.School of Psychology, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32167177

Citation

Green, Luke J S., et al. "How Disappointing: Startle Modulation Reveals Conditional Stimuli Presented After Pleasant Unconditional Stimuli Acquire Negative Valence." Psychophysiology, vol. 57, no. 8, 2020, pp. e13563.
Green LJS, Luck CC, Lipp OV. How disappointing: Startle modulation reveals conditional stimuli presented after pleasant unconditional stimuli acquire negative valence. Psychophysiology. 2020;57(8):e13563.
Green, L. J. S., Luck, C. C., & Lipp, O. V. (2020). How disappointing: Startle modulation reveals conditional stimuli presented after pleasant unconditional stimuli acquire negative valence. Psychophysiology, 57(8), e13563. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13563
Green LJS, Luck CC, Lipp OV. How Disappointing: Startle Modulation Reveals Conditional Stimuli Presented After Pleasant Unconditional Stimuli Acquire Negative Valence. Psychophysiology. 2020;57(8):e13563. PubMed PMID: 32167177.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - How disappointing: Startle modulation reveals conditional stimuli presented after pleasant unconditional stimuli acquire negative valence. AU - Green,Luke J S, AU - Luck,Camilla C, AU - Lipp,Ottmar V, Y1 - 2020/03/13/ PY - 2019/06/25/received PY - 2020/01/20/revised PY - 2020/02/21/accepted PY - 2020/3/14/pubmed PY - 2021/6/23/medline PY - 2020/3/14/entrez KW - associative learning KW - backward conditioning KW - evaluative conditioning KW - propositional learning KW - startle modulation SP - e13563 EP - e13563 JF - Psychophysiology JO - Psychophysiology VL - 57 IS - 8 N2 - Past research on backward conditioning in evaluative and fear conditioning yielded inconsistent results in that self-report measures suggest that the conditional stimulus (CS) acquired the valence of the unconditional stimulus (US) in fear conditioning (assimilation effects), but the opposite valence in evaluative conditioning (contrast effects). Conversely, implicit measures of CS valence suggest assimilation effects in evaluative backward conditioning, whereas startle modulation indicates contrast effects in backward fear conditioning. The current study investigated whether US intensity could account for the dissociation on implicit measures between fear and evaluative conditioning. Self-report measures of evaluative learning indicated assimilation effects for forward conditioning, whereas backward contrast effects were observed with intense USs only. Blink startle modulation indicated assimilation effects in forward conditioning and contrast effects in backward conditioning, regardless of US intensity. Experiment 2 included a neutral US in order to assess whether the offset of the positive US elicits an opponent emotional response that mirrors relief (disappointment), which is thought to mediate the reduction in startle seen during backward CSs in fear conditioning. This opponent emotional response was evident as startle magnitude during backward CSs increased linearly with increasing US pleasantness. Omission of the forward CSs led to an assimilation effect in self-report measures. The current results extend our understanding of emotional learning to stimuli encountered after salient emotional events. Startle reflects the emotion prevailing after US offset, relief or disappointment, whereas self-report measures seem more attuned to factors such as US predictability and intensity. SN - 1540-5958 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32167177/How_disappointing:_Startle_modulation_reveals_conditional_stimuli_presented_after_pleasant_unconditional_stimuli_acquire_negative_valence_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -