Generalization of Learned Fear

Joseph E. Dunsmoor, Rony Paz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Autonomic hyperarousal and avoidance in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be triggered by a host of stimuli or situations that bear some similarity or association to the trauma event. As these triggers are often encountered in safe environments removed from the original trauma, this overgeneralization of fear and anxiety is a burden that can interfere with daily life. Recent efforts to understand the neurobiology of PTSD have relied on laboratory models of Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. This chapter reviews studies of fear generalization in animals and humans, which provide a valuable model to conceptualize the excessive fear generalization characteristic of PTSD.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of PTSD
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Brain to Mind
EditorsIsrael Liberzon, Kerry Ressler
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780190215422
StatePublished - Jul 2016


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