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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/30967

Title: Additive Effects of Threat-of-Shock and Picture Valence on Startle Reflex Modulation
Authors: Bublatzky, Florian
Guerra Muñoz, Pedro
Pastor, María del Carmen
Schupp, Harald T.
Vila Castellar, Jaime
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of sustained anticipatory anxiety on the affective modulation of the eyeblink startle reflex. Towards this end, pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures were presented as a continuous stream during alternating threat-of-shock and safety periods, which were cued by colored picture frames. Orbicularis-EMG to auditory startle probes and electrodermal activity were recorded. Previous findings regarding affective picture valence and threat-of-shock modulation were replicated. Of main interest, anticipating aversive events and viewing affective pictures additively modulated defensive activation. Specifically, despite overall potentiated startle blink magnitude in threat-of-shock conditions, the startle reflex remained sensitive to hedonic picture valence. Finally, skin conductance level revealed sustained sympathetic activation throughout the entire experiment during threat- compared to safety-periods. Overall, defensive activation by physical threat appears to operate independently from reflex modulation by picture media. The present data confirms the importance of simultaneously manipulating phasic-fear and sustained-anxiety in studying both normal and abnormal anxiety.
Sponsorship: This work was supported in part by scholarships awarded to F. B. by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and by the State Ministry for Education and Cultural Affairs of Baden-Wuerttemberg (LGFG); a DFG grant Schu 1074/11-2; and the research group: Junta de Andalucía, group: HUM-388.
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Keywords: Anxiety
Anxiety disorders
Data processing
Human learning
Safety studies
Sensory cues
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/30967
ISSN: 1932-6203
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Bublatzky, F.; et al. Additive Effects of Threat-of-Shock and Picture Valence on Startle Reflex Modulation. Plos One, 8(1): e54003 (2013). []
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