MSU CogSci Elizabeth Phelps - January 31, 2011

The Specialization
For graduate students
For undergraduates
2010-2011 Courses
Research Themes
Affiliated Departments
Labs & Grants
Affiliated Faculty
Graduate Students
Program Alumni
2009-2010 Events
Distinguished Speakers
Cognitive Forum Schedule
Affiliated Colloquia

"Changing Fear."

Abstract for talk: In this talk, I examine the neural systems mediating the ability to flexibly adapt human fear responses in changing circumstances. Using animal models of fear conditioning as a starting point, the first part of this talk explores how this simple animal model can extend to complex social means of fear acquisition in humans. In the second part, I focus on how previously acquired fears can be diminished. Through extinction and emotion regulation the ventral medial prefrontal cortex inhibits the amygdala and the expression of fear, but the fear memory remains intact and fear can return. In contrast, techniques that target the re-storage of the fear memory during reconsolidation result in a more lasting alteration of the fear response.


Suggested Readings:

Schiller, D. & Phelps, E. (Submitted). Does reconsolidation occur in humans? Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.[.pdf][Table]

Hartley, C. & Phelps, E. (2010). Changing Fear: The Neurocircuitry of Emotion Regulation. Neuropsychopharmacology, 35 136-146. [.pdf]

Have a question about the program? Click here for our contact information.