Nicholas L. Balderston

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The prefrontal cortex regulates the expression of fear based on previously learned information. Recently, this brain area has emerged as being crucial in the initial formation of fear memories, providing new avenues to study the neurobiology underlying aberrant learning in anxiety disorders. Here we review the circumstances under which the prefrontal cortex(More)
The primary focus of research on the amygdala has been on the detection of and response to emotion but the amygdala also sometimes responds to new or unexpected stimuli without specific emotional content. Very little is currently known about why the amygdala responds to some new stimuli but not to others. Here we investigated the conditions that are(More)
Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence has demonstrated that fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention, but to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the(More)
Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear(More)
The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In(More)
In trace fear conditioning a conditional stimulus (CS) predicts the occurrence of the unconditional stimulus (UCS), which is presented after a brief stimulus free period (trace interval)(1). Because the CS and UCS do not co-occur temporally, the subject must maintain a representation of that CS during the trace interval. In humans, this type of learning(More)
In Pavlovian fear conditioning, an aversive unconditional stimulus (UCS) is repeatedly paired with a neutral conditional stimulus (CS). As a consequence, the subject begins to show conditional responses (CRs) to the CS that indicate expectation and fear. There are currently two general models competing to explain the role of subjective awareness in fear(More)
The nature of the relationship between explicit and implicit learning is a topic of considerable debate. To investigate this relationship we conducted two experiments on postconditioning revaluation of the unconditional stimulus (UCS) in human fear conditioning. In Experiment 1, the intensity of the UCS was decreased after acquisition for one group(More)
A number of recent papers have suggested that the amygdala plays a role in the brain's novelty detection circuit. In a recent study, we showed that this role may be specific to certain classes of biologically-relevant stimuli, such as human faces. The purpose of the present experiment was to determine whether other biologically-relevant stimuli also evoke(More)
The exponential rise in the number of functional brain connectivity studies, particularly those examining intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) at rest, and the promises of this work for unraveling the ontogeny of functional neural systems motivate this review. Shortly before this explosion in functional connectivity research, developmental(More)