ERIC Number: EJ1142314
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Response-Specific Sex Difference in the Retention of Fear Extinction
Voulo, Meagan E.; Parsons, Ryan G.
Learning & Memory, v24 n6 p245-251 Jun 2017
Fear conditioning studies in rodents allow us to assess vulnerability factors which might underlie fear-based psychopathology such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite PTSD being more prevalent in females than males, very few fear conditioning studies in rodents have tested females. Our study assessed fear conditioning and extinction in male and female rats using both fear-potentiated startle and freezing behavior as measures. Rats were trained to fear cues that predicted the occurrence of shock and then subsequently exposed to an extinction training procedure where the cue was presented repeatedly in the absence of shock. Retention of the extinction memory was assessed the next day. Our results showed that females exhibited less retention of fear extinction, but only when measured by fear-potentiated startle. Our results highlight the importance of using multiple indices of fear behavior, particularly when comparing sexes on measures of extinction learning.
Descriptors: Gender Differences, Retention (Psychology), Fear, Learning Processes, Responses, Conditioning, Animals
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A