Fear Conditioning



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Anxiety and Decision Making

Advanced Seminars in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology



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Justin Smith – 13 January 2012

Introduction to Anxiety; Introduction to Decision Making




  1. Anxiety defined clinically by the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual IV (DSM-IV)

    1. DSM-V is being developed now

      1. Published May 2013

    2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobia, Social Phobia, OCD, PTSD, Acute Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorder

    3. Yerkes-Dodson Law of Anxiety or Stress

      1. Inverted U shape function of Performance vs Arousal

      2. Low Anxiety – low performance → medium Anxiety – high performance → high Anxiety – low performance

    4. Combined DSM-Yerkes-Dodson explanations may provide the best understanding of the anxiety

  2. Animal tests for Anxiety

    1. Open Field Test – general anxiety, specific phobia

      1. Rodents prefer to be in small closed in spaces

      2. Time in the open area reflects low anxiety

    2. Novelty Suppressed Feeding -

    3. Elevated Plus Maze - general anxiety, specific phobia

      1. Elevated Zero Maze

    4. Social Interaction Test – social phobia

      1. Another animal in the open field

        1. Either submissive animals or in a small screen cage

      2. Mouse in a cup, no mouse in a cup test

    5. Social Avoidance test – social phobia

      1. Animal in a small screened cage after a social defeat



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