Beyond extinction: erasing human fear responses and preventing the return of fear

@article{Kindt2009BeyondEE,
  title={Beyond extinction: erasing human fear responses and preventing the return of fear},
  author={Merel Kindt and Marieke Soeter and Bram Vervliet},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
  year={2009},
  volume={12},
  pages={256-258}
}
Animal studies have shown that fear memories can change when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. We found that oral administration of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory reactivation in humans erased the behavioral expression of the fear memory 24 h later and prevented the return of fear. Disrupting the reconsolidation of fear memory opens up new avenues for providing a long-term cure for patients with emotional disorders. 

Erasing Fear : Effect of Disrupting Fear Memory Reconsolidation on Central and Peripheral Nervous System Activity

TLDR
Fear memories, here defined as learned associations between a stimulus and a physiological fear reaction, are formed through fear conditioning, and in animals, fear memories, present in the lateral amygdaline region, are present in animals.

Behavioural memory reconsolidation of food and fear memories

TLDR
To confirm that reactivation followed by extinction reflects a behavioural analog of memory reconsolidation, it is shown that prevention of contextual fear memory reactivation by the LVGCC blocker nimodipine interferes with the amnestic outcome.

Animal models of fear relapse.

TLDR
Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, spontaneous recovery, reacquisition, and reinstatement.

Erasing Fear Memories with Extinction Training

TLDR
The use of modified extinction protocols to eliminate fear memories complements existing pharmacological strategies for strengthening extinction and improves the chances of avoiding the return of fear in both rats and humans.

The Amygdala, Fear and Reconsolidation : Neural and Behavioral Effects of Retrieval-Extinction in Fear Conditioning and Spider Phobia

TLDR
The amygdala is crucially involved in the acquisition and retention of fear memories, and experimental research on fear conditioning has shown that memory retrieval shortly followed by pharmacological reprograming is important for fear conditioning.

Preventing the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms

TLDR
The adaptive role of reconsolidation as a window of opportunity to rewrite emotional memories is demonstrated, and a non-invasive technique that can be used safely in humans to prevent the return of fear is suggested.

Extinction after retrieval: effects on the associative and nonassociative components of remote contextual fear memory.

TLDR
It is shown that the reconsolidation-extinction procedure fails to prevent the spontaneous recovery of a remote contextual fear memory in a mouse model of PTSD, as well as the long-lasting behavioral abnormalities induced by traumatic experience on anxiety and in both social and cognitive domains.

Are fear memories erasable?–reconsolidation of learned fear with fear-relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli

TLDR
It is found that a single reminder exposure prior to extinction training did not prevent the return of extinguished fear responding using either fear-relevant or fear-irrelevant CSs, pointing to the need to further study the specific parameters that enable disruption of reconsolidation.

Seeking a Spotless Mind: Extinction, Deconsolidation, and Erasure of Fear Memory

Fear Conditioning: Overview

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