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dc.contributor.advisorOtto, Michael W.en_US
dc.contributor.authorAcunzo, Maria Alexandra Kredlowen_US
dc.date.accessioned2019-04-04T15:02:33Z
dc.date.available2019-04-04T15:02:33Z
dc.date.issued2018
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2144/34404
dc.description.abstractHuman and non-human animal studies indicate that the reconsolidation of conditioned fear memories can be interrupted, and return of fear attenuated, using a paradigm of memory retrieval coupled with extinction called post-retrieval extinction (PRE). This series of studies examined the efficacy of PRE for attenuating the return of fear in healthy and anxious individuals in order to inform translation of PRE to the clinic. Study 1 was a meta-analysis of 16 comparisons of PRE versus extinction in healthy human participants. My hypothesis that PRE would be more efficacious than extinction in attenuating the return of fear was supported (effect size g = 0.40). This effect was moderated by factors potentially related to memory strength. Accordingly, in Study 2, I tested a strategy to strengthen fear memories using a compound unconditioned stimulus for use in a subsequent study of PRE (Study 3). I hypothesized that the use of a compound unconditioned stimulus would improve rates of acquisition and differential conditioning levels in healthy participants (N=143, M(SD) age=23.0 (9.8), 59% female). My results confirmed that the use of a compound unconditioned stimulus enhanced rates of acquisition, but contrary to my hypothesis, did not enhance differential conditioning levels among those meeting threshold values for conditioning. In Study 3, I tested the relative efficacy of PRE in 49 healthy and 43 anxious participants (M(SD) age=23.0 (8.0), 71% female) who received either one day of acquisition followed by PRE or extinction, or three days of acquisition followed by PRE. I hypothesized that PRE would be more efficacious than extinction in attenuating the reinstatement of fear for memories conditioned over one day, but not for stronger fear memories conditioned over three days. Contrary to my hypothesis, no effect of PRE was observed on reinstatement of fear for participants who received one day of acquisition. Furthermore, PRE was not more beneficial for anxious participants who received one day versus three days of acquisition. In sum, the PRE effect size from this study was near zero and at the 11th percentile of those observed by meta-analysis; future research should continue to examine moderators of PRE effects.en_US
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.subjectClinical psychologyen_US
dc.titleExploring the boundaries of post-retrieval extinction in healthy and anxious individualsen_US
dc.typeThesis/Dissertationen_US
dc.date.updated2019-02-05T20:08:50Z
etd.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
etd.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
etd.degree.disciplinePsychological & Brain Sciencesen_US
etd.degree.grantorBoston Universityen_US


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