Verbal instruction abolishes fear conditioned to angry faces

Lipp, Ottmar V., Rowles, Monique E. and Mallan, Kimberley M. (2011). Verbal instruction abolishes fear conditioned to angry faces. In: Special Issue: Society for Psychophysiological Research Abstracts for the Fifty-First Annual Meeting. 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Psychophysiological Research, Boston, MA, United States, (S105-S105). 14-18 September 2011.


Author Lipp, Ottmar V.
Rowles, Monique E.
Mallan, Kimberley M.
Title of paper Verbal instruction abolishes fear conditioned to angry faces
Conference name 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Psychophysiological Research
Conference location Boston, MA, United States
Conference dates 14-18 September 2011
Proceedings title Special Issue: Society for Psychophysiological Research Abstracts for the Fifty-First Annual Meeting   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Psychophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Poster
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01259.x
ISSN 0048-5772
1469-8986
Volume 48
Issue Supp. 1
Start page S105
End page S105
Total pages 1
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Prepared learning, learning that is selective, resistant to extinction, evident after one trial, and encapsulated from cognition, is said to underlie animal and social phobias (O¨ hman, 2009). Resistance to extinction has been shown for fears conditioned to pictures of snakes and spiders and to pictures of faces of threatening conspecifics (angry faces or faces that look different – other race faces). However, whereas fear conditioned to pictures of snakes and spiders is encapsulated from cognition, fear conditioned to pictures of other race faces is not (Mallan et al., 2009). The present study investigated whether fear conditioned to pictures of angry faces is encapsulated from cognition. Two groups of participants were trained in a differential Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure with angry face or happy face conditional stimuli (CSs). Prior to extinction, half the participants in each group were informed that no more unconditional stimuli would be presented. In the absence of verbal instruction, participants showed resistance to extinction after training with angry face CSs, but not after training with happy face CSs. Instructed extinction abolished differential fear conditioning regardless of the emotion expressed by the CS faces. This finding suggests that unlike fear conditioned to pictures of snakes and spiders, but similar to fear conditioned to pictures of other race faces, fear conditioned to pictures of angry faces is malleable by cognition.
Keyword Prepared learning
Fear conditioning
Facial expression of emotion
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 12 AUG 2011. Published under Poster Session Abstracts: Special Issue: Society for Psychophysiological Research Abstracts for the Fifty-First Annual Meeting.

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