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From Extinction Learning to Anxiety Treatment: Mind the Gap

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, 900 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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Brain Sci. 2019, 9(7), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9070164
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiology of Fear: From Basic Mechanisms to Therapeutic Approaches)
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Abstract

Laboratory models of extinction learning in animals and humans have the potential to illuminate methods for improving clinical treatment of fear-based clinical disorders. However, such translational research often neglects important differences between threat responses in animals and fear learning in humans, particularly as it relates to the treatment of clinical disorders. Specifically, the conscious experience of fear and anxiety, along with the capacity to deliberately engage top-down cognitive processes to modulate that experience, involves distinct brain circuitry and is measured and manipulated using different methods than typically used in laboratory research. This paper will identify how translational research that investigates methods of enhancing extinction learning can more effectively model such elements of human fear learning, and how doing so will enhance the relevance of this research to the treatment of fear-based psychological disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: extinction; fear; anxiety; conditioning; translational research; exposure therapy extinction; fear; anxiety; conditioning; translational research; exposure therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Carpenter, J.K.; Pinaire, M.; Hofmann, S.G. From Extinction Learning to Anxiety Treatment: Mind the Gap. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 164.

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