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Title: The effects of noradrenergic blockade on extinction in humans
Authors: Bos, Marieke Geerte Nynke
Beckers, Tom
Kindt, Merel # ×
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: North-Holland Pub.
Series Title: Biological Psychology vol:89 issue:3 pages:598-605
Abstract: The process of reconsolidation has attracted much attention because of its potential
application for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigate a possible boundary
condition of disrupting reconsolidation with the noradrenergic antagonist propranolol in humans.
Reconsolidation can be initiated by retrieval of an acquired fear memory, which is in procedure
equivalent to extinction training. If memory retrieval promotes the formation of a novel extinction
memory trace, propranolol may interfere with extinction rather than with reconsolidation. Using a
differential fear conditioning paradigm, we demonstrate that administration of propranolol (doubleblind
placebo controlled) prior to repetitive unreinforced CS presentations did not affect extinction at a
physiological level (startle reflex and skin conductance). At a cognitive level, propranolol directly
impaired extinction learning. These findings indicate that careful selection of timing parameters is
essential to ensure that pharmacological agents interfere with the intended memory process to reduce
fear.
ISSN: 0301-0511
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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