Abstract: The present study investigated fear-potentiated startle and autonomic learning in brain-lesioned patients in a classical fear-conditioning paradigm. Startle blink and skin conductance responses of 30 patients who underwent unilateral temporal lobectomy because of drug-resistant epilepsy were compared with those of 32 healthy controls. As expected, temporal lobectomy patients showed a general impairment in fear conditioning relative to controls. This impairment did not differ with respect to the affected hemisphere. Moreover, while fear-conditioned startle potentiation in healthy controls was independent of contingency awareness, skin conductance discrimination was only observed for those participants who correctly recognized the stimulus contingencies. Patients who acquired a declarative memory of the contingencies also showed intact skin conductance discrimination but failed to exhibit fear-potentiated startle. The present findings support a two-levels-of-learning account of human fear conditioning and also demonstrate that the amygdala is crucially involved in fear learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)
Keywords: fear conditioning; unilateral temporal lobectomy; conditioned startle potentiation; autonomic learning; brain lesions; skin conductance responses; startle blink responses; drug resistant epilepsy; Conditioned Fear; Epilepsy; Psychosurgery; Startle Reflex; Autonomic Nervous System; Eyeblink Reflex; Skin Resistance; Treatment Resistant Disorders
Notes: 0270-64741529-2401Accession Number: 2005-15699-002. First Author & Affiliation: Weike, Almut I.; Department of Psycholgy, University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany. Other Journal Title: Journal of Neuroscience. Release Date: 20060403. Publication Type: Journal (0100) Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Media Covered: Electronic. Media Available: Electronic; Print. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Brain Lesions; Conditioned Fear; Epilepsy; Psychosurgery; Startle Reflex. Minor Descriptor: Autonomic Nervous System; Eyeblink Reflex; Skin Resistance; Treatment Resistant Disorders. Classification: Neurological Disorders & Brain Damage (3297) . Population: Human (10) Male (30) Female (40) . Location: Germany. Age Group: Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300) . Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y.