A Review of Preclinical Studies to Understand Fear During Adolescence

  title={A Review of Preclinical Studies to Understand Fear During Adolescence},
  author={Jee Hyun Kim and Despina E. Ganella},
  journal={Australian Psychologist},
  pages={25 - 31}
  • J. Kim, D. Ganella
  • Published 1 February 2015
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Australian Psychologist
The most rapid physical and psychological growth occurs during adolescence, a period of transition from childhood to adulthood when the incidence of anxiety disorder peaks in humans. Human and animal studies suggest that dramatic changes in prefrontal cortical areas during adolescence are responsible for such prevalence of anxiety. Only recently, however, has the relationship between prefrontal immaturity and differential fear processing across adolescence been directly and systematically… 
Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Adolescents and Adults: A Human fMRI Study
It is shown for the first time that healthy adolescent humans show different behavioral responses, and dampened PFC activity during short-term extinction recall compared to healthy adults, which may explain the peak in prevalence of anxiety disorders during adolescence.
Prefrontal Dopaminergic Mechanisms of Extinction in Adolescence Compared to Adulthood in Rats
The results suggest a dissociated role for prefrontal dopamine in fear extinction during adolescence compared to adulthood, and highlight the dopamine system as a potential pharmacological target to improve extinction-based treatments for adolescents.
Reducing Fear During Childhood to Prevent Anxiety Disorders Later: Insights From Developmental Psychobiology
Anxiety disorders are neurodevelopmental with the median age of onset 10 to 11 years, but developmental processes underlying fear and anxiety are rarely investigated. In the last decade, however,
Prefrontal-Amygdala Connectivity and State Anxiety during Fear Extinction Recall in Adolescents
It is demonstrated that fear extinction recall in healthy adolescents is associated with FC between prefrontal and limbic brain regions, and alterations in connectivity may be associated with vulnerability to anxiety in adolescence.
Sex differences in the neurochemistry of frontal cortex: Impact of early life stress
It is found that sex‐dependent effects of stress are mediated by the age at which stress is experienced, age at test, and type of stress endured, and that a greater understanding of sex‐specific susceptibilities in response to stress across development will help to uncover risk factors for psychological disorders in vulnerable populations.
Postnatal development of neurotransmitter systems and their relevance to extinction of conditioned fear
Aripiprazole Facilitates Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Adolescent Rats
Aripiprazole's facilitation of extinction was accompanied by increased activation of neurons in the mPFC, which represents a novel pharmacological adjunct to exposure therapy worthy of further examination.
Effects of Methamphetamine Exposure on Fear Learning and Memory in Adult and Adolescent Rats
It is suggested that intraperitoneal injections of high doses of meth and meth self-administration have dissociated effects on fear conditioning and extinction during adulthood, while adolescent fear conditioningand extinction are unaffected.


Developmental rodent models of fear and anxiety: from neurobiology to pharmacology
There is a period early in development where rats appear to be more robust in overcoming adverse early life experience, and the fundamental pharmacological processes underlying anxiety early in life need to be understood in order to take advantage of this period for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
The Adolescent Brain
Evidence is provided that there is a heightened responsiveness to incentives and socioemotional contexts during this time, when impulse control is still relatively immature, which suggests differential development of bottom‐up limbic systems to top‐down control systems during adolescence as compared to childhood and adulthood.
Immunohistochemical analyses of long-term extinction of conditioned fear in adolescent rats.
The findings suggest that adolescents are less efficient in utilizing prefrontal areas, which may lead to an impairment in the maintenance of extinguished behavior.
The adolescent brain and age-related behavioral manifestations
  • L. Spear
  • Psychology, Biology
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  • 2000
Altered fear learning across development in both mouse and human
The results suggest a lack of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal regions, during adolescence, is associated with blunted regulation of fear extinction, which provides insight into optimizing treatment outcomes for when, during development, exposure therapies may be most effective.
Adolescent cortical development: A critical period of vulnerability for addiction
Amygdalo‐cortical sprouting continues into early adulthood: Implications for the development of normal and abnormal function during adolescence
It is proposed that late maturation of amygdalo‐cortical connectivity may provide an anatomical basis for the development and integration of normal and possibly abnormal emotional behavior during adolescence and early adulthood.