Categories, concepts, and conditioning: How humans generalize fear

Joseph E. Dunsmoor, Gregory L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During the past century, Pavlovian conditioning has served as the predominant experimental paradigm and theoretical framework to understand how humans learn to fear and avoid real or perceived dangers. Animal models for translational research offer insight into basic behavioral and neurophysiological factors mediating the acquisition, expression, inhibition, and generalization of fear. However, it is important to consider the limits of traditional animal models when applied to humans. Here, we focus on the question of how humans generalize fear. We propose that to understand fear generalization in humans requires taking into account research on higher-level cognition such as category-based induction, inferential reasoning, and representation of conceptual knowledge. Doing so will open the door for productive avenues of new research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

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Fear
Animal Models
Translational Medical Research
Research
Cognition
Conditioning (Psychology)
Generalization (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Categories, concepts, and conditioning : How humans generalize fear. / Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Murphy, Gregory L.

In: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 2, 01.02.2015, p. 73-77.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dunsmoor, Joseph E. ; Murphy, Gregory L. / Categories, concepts, and conditioning : How humans generalize fear. In: Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 73-77.
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