Only some individuals exposed to a traumatic experience eventually develop stress-related disorders such as anxiety and PTSD, indicating that the development and course of such disorders are influenced considerably by different risk factors. Understanding the way such risk factors contribute to the development of pathology is thus a key issue in understanding the neurobiology of stress-related disorders. Here we review behavioral approaches and evidence from recent studies which utilized innovative fear conditioning procedures in rats aiming to model pre- and peri-exposure risk factors, including pre-exposure to pre-pubertal adversities, and the level of controllability over the stressful experience during the exposure to the trauma. Furthermore, the importance of taking into consideration individual variability in post-exposure stress-related behaviors in order to differentiate between exposed-affected and exposed-unaffected individuals is demonstrated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Behavioral Neuroscience