Current understanding of fear learning and memory in humans and animal models and the value of a linguistic approach for analyzing fear learning and memory in humans

J. Raber*, Shahar Arzy, Julie Boulanger Bertolus, Brendan Depue, Haley E. Haas, Stefan G. Hofmann, M. Kangas, Elizabeth Kensinger, Christopher A. Lowry, Hilary A. Marusak, Jessica Minnier, Anne Marie Mouly, Andreas Mühlberger, Seth Davin Norrholm, K. Peltonen, Graziano Pinna, Christine Rabinak, Youssef Shiban, Hermona Soreq, Michael A. van der KooijL. Lowe, Leah T. Weingast, P. Yamashita, Sydney Weber Boutros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fear is an emotion that serves as a driving factor in how organisms move through the world. In this review, we discuss the current understandings of the subjective experience of fear and the related biological processes involved in fear learning and memory. We first provide an overview of fear learning and memory in humans and animal models, encompassing the neurocircuitry and molecular mechanisms, the influence of genetic and environmental factors, and how fear learning paradigms have contributed to treatments for fear-related disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Current treatments as well as novel strategies, such as targeting the perisynaptic environment and use of virtual reality, are addressed. We review research on the subjective experience of fear and the role of autobiographical memory in fear-related disorders. We also discuss the gaps in our understanding of fear learning and memory, and the degree of consensus in the field. Lastly, the development of linguistic tools for assessments and treatment of fear learning and memory disorders is discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-177
Number of pages42
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors

Keywords

  • Autobiography
  • Fear
  • Linguistics
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Subjective fear
  • Virtual reality

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