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Colloquium Series: Liz Phelps (NYU)

April 26, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Mechanisms of Threat Control

Animal models of associative threat learning provide a basis for understanding human fears and anxiety. Building on research from animal models, we explore a range of means by which maladaptive defensive responses can be diminished in humans. Extinction and emotion regulation, techniques adapted in cognitive behavioral therapy, can be used to control learned defensive responses via inhibitory signals from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the amygdala. One drawback of these techniques is that these responses are only inhibited and can return, with one factor being stress. I will review research examining the lasting control of maladaptive defensive responses by targeting memory reconsolidation and present evidence suggesting that the behavioral interference of reconsolidation in humans diminishes involvement of the prefrontal cortex inhibitory circuitry, although there are limitations to its efficacy. I will also describe two novel behavioral techniques that might result in a more lasting fear reduction, the first by providing control over stressor and the second by substituting a novel, neutral cue for the aversive unconditioned stimulus.

* Co-hosted by the Neuroscience and Public Policy Program as a part of the Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

For information regarding the talk contact uwcsc@googlegroups.com.

See our other upcoming events in the spring colloquium series:

Dedre Gentner, May 3rd


April 26, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Biotechnology Center Auditorium (Rm. 1111)
425 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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