Eye movements during recall of aversive memory decreases conditioned fear

Description

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders typically involves exposure to the conditioned stimulus (CS). Despite its status as an effective and primary treatment, many patients do not show clinical improvement or relapse. Contemporary learning theory suggests that treatment may be optimized by adding techniques that aim at revaluating the aversive consequence (US) of the feared stimulus. This study tested whether US devaluation via a dual task e imagining the US while making eye movements e decreases conditioned fear. Following fear acquisition one group recalled the US while making eye movements (EM) and one group merely recalled the US (RO). Next, during a test phase, all participants were re-presented the CSs. Dual tasking, relative to the control condition, decreased memory vividness and emotionality. Moreover, only in the dual task condition reductions were observed in self-reported fear, US expectancy, and CS unpleasantness, but not in skin conductance responses. Findings provide the first evidence that the dual task decreases conditioned fear and suggest it may be a valuable addition to exposure therapy.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Arne Leer
Iris M. Engelhard
Annemarie Altink
Marcel A. van den Hout

Original Work Citation

Leer, A., Engelhard, I. M., Altink, A., & van den Hout, M. A. (2013, October). Eye movements during recall of aversive memory decreases conditioned fear. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51(10), 633-640. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2013.07.004

Collection

Citation

“Eye movements during recall of aversive memory decreases conditioned fear,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 8, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22244.

Output Formats