Journal article

Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Adolescents and Adults: A Human fMRI Study

Despina E Ganella, Katherine D Drummond, Eleni P Ganella, Sarah Whittle, Jee Hyun Kim



Little is known about the neural correlates of fear learning in adolescents, a population at increased risk for anxiety disorders. Healthy adolescents (mean age 16.26) and adults (mean age 29.85) completed a fear learning paradigm across two stages during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Stage 1 involved conditioning and extinction, and stage 2 involved extinction recall, re-conditioning, followed by re-extinction. During extinction recall, we observed a higher skin conductance response to the CS+ relative to CS- in adolescents compared to adults, which was accompanied by a reduction in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity. Relative to adults, adolescents also had sig..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by University of Melbourne

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a Baker Foundation Fellowship and The University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher (ECR) grant (603406) awarded to DG, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship (APP1125504) awarded to SW, and NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (APP1083309) awarded to JK. We would also like to thank Associate Professor Nim Tottenham for the permission to use the NimStim facial expressions stimuli and comments when designing the behavioral paradigm. We thank Mieke du Plessis for her assistance in data collection.