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16 - Learned fear and innate anxiety in rodents and their relevance to human anxiety disorders

from Section 3 - Understanding the causes of anxiety

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2010

Helen Blair Simpson
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Yuval Neria
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Roberto Lewis-Fernández
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Franklin Schneier
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
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Summary

Anxiety disorders clearly have learned and non-learned components, suggesting that both types of animal models are of potential relevance. Defensive fear and anxiety behaviors have been extensively studied in rodents, using behavioral paradigms that test such behaviors in response to both learned and innately threatening stimuli. This chapter reviews these studies of learned fear and innate anxiety, detailing the latest advances in the understanding of neurobiological mechanisms and their implications for treatment. It also considers data from human studies to examine the relevance of these animal models of normative defensive behaviors to the pathological anxious behaviors seen in patients with anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) offers perhaps the most compelling case for the relevance of innate anxiety, in that patients worry about numerous aspects of their lives without any logical rationale or previous experience.
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Anxiety Disorders
Theory, Research and Clinical Perspectives
, pp. 180 - 191
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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