4 years ago

Threat of Shock and Aversive Inhibition: Induced Anxiety Modulates Pavlovian-Instrumental Interactions.

Roiser JP, Robinson OJ, Mkrtchian A
Anxiety can be an adaptive response to potentially threatening situations. However, if experienced in inappropriate contexts, it can also lead to pathological and maladaptive anxiety disorders. Experimentally, anxiety can be induced in healthy individuals using the threat of shock (ToS) paradigm. Accumulating work with this paradigm suggests that anxiety promotes harm-avoidant mechanisms through enhanced inhibitory control. However, the specific cognitive mechanisms underlying anxiety-linked inhibitory control are unclear. Critically, behavioral inhibition can arise from at least 2 interacting valuation systems: instrumental (a goal-directed system) and Pavlovian (a "hardwired" reflexive system). The present study (N = 62) replicated a study showing improved response inhibition under ToS in healthy participants, and additionally examined the impact of ToS on aversive and appetitive Pavlovian-instrumental interactions in a reinforced go/no-go task. When Pavlovian and instrumental systems were in conflict, ToS increased inhibition to aversive events, while leaving appetitive interactions unperturbed. We argue that anxiety promotes avoidant behavior in potentially harmful situations by potentiating aversive Pavlovian reactions (i.e., promoting avoidance in the face of threats). Critically, such a mechanism would drive adaptive harm-avoidant behavior in threatening situations where Pavlovian and instrumental processes are aligned, but at the same time, result in maladaptive behaviors when misaligned and where instrumental control would be advantageous. This has important implications for our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie pathological anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28910125

DOI: PubMed:28910125

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.