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Title: Post-extinction conditional stimulus valence predicts reinstatement fear: Relevance for long-term outcomes of Exposure therapy
Authors: Zbozinek, T ×
Hermans, Dirk
Prenoveau, J
Liao, B
Craske, M.G #
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Series Title: Cognition & Emotion vol:29 issue:4 pages:654-667
Article number: 10.1080/02699931.2014.930421
Abstract: Exposure therapy for anxiety disorders is translated from fear conditioning and extinction. While exposure therapy is effective in treating anxiety, fear sometimes returns after exposure. One pathway for return of fear is reinstatement: unsignaled unconditional stimuli following completion of extinction. The present study investigated the extent to which valence of the conditional stimulus (CS+) after extinction predicts return of CS+ fear after reinstatement. Participants (N = 84) engaged in a differential fear conditioning paradigm and were randomized to reinstatement or non-reinstatement. We hypothesized that more negative post-extinction CS+ valence would predict higher CS+ fear after reinstatement relative to non-reinstatement and relative to extinction retest. Results supported the hypotheses and suggest that strategies designed to decrease negative valence of the CS+ may reduce the return of fear via reinstatement following exposure therapy.
ISSN: 0269-9931
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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