Stress-induced avoidance in mood disorders

Kristoffer Carl Mikael Aberg, Rony Paz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the interaction between daily-life environmental factors, such as stress, and the inter-individual expression of affective traits may inform the development and maintenance of dysfunctional behavioural patterns and mental illness1,2,3. Aylward et al.4 reported that stress, induced by threat of electric shocks, did not elicit hypothesized interactions between anxiety and punishment-induced behavioural adaptations. Here we re-analyse the original dataset in a manner directly guided by the original hypotheses which, in combination with careful behavioural modelling, reveals increased punishment avoidance for anxious individuals during stress. By re-analysing valuable data that were already collected, published and made freely available, our study supports the original hypothesis, and thereby encourages future research on the interactions between stress and vulnerability factors for developing mental illness, a research theme particularly timely given reports of global increases in stress and mental health decline5,6,7.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-918
Number of pages4
JournalNature Human Behaviour
StatePublished - 18 Jul 2022


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