Chapter 3.1 Brain mechanisms of Pavlovian and instrumental aversive conditioning

Christopher K. Cain, Joseph Ledoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Fear learning can be broadly divided into two categories: the acquisition of fear reactions, modeled by Pavlovian conditioning, and the acquisition of fear actions, modeled by instrumental avoidance/escape conditioning. Brain research on Pavlovian conditioning has been especially successful at delineating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fear-reaction learning. Instrumental conditioning research is beginning to shed light on fear-action learning at the brain systems level. In the present chapter we review recent advances in both fields and suggest that the Escape from Fear (EFF) paradigm is an excellent model for studying how these two types of learning interact to subserve fear behavior. The mechanisms of such learning may be related to passive versus active coping strategies in humans suffering from pathological fear and understanding these mechanisms may have important treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-124
Number of pages22
JournalHandbook of Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

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Fear
Brain
Learning
Conditioning (Psychology)
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Keywords

  • amygdala
  • avoidance
  • conditioning
  • coping
  • instrumental
  • Pavlovian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Chapter 3.1 Brain mechanisms of Pavlovian and instrumental aversive conditioning. / Cain, Christopher K.; Ledoux, Joseph.

In: Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 17, 2008, p. 103-124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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