Are snakes and spiders special? Acquisition of negative valence and modified attentional processing by non-fear-relevant animal stimuli
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Previous research has demonstrated differences in processing between fear-relevant stimuli, such as snakes and spiders, and non-fear-relevant stimuli. The current research examined whether non-fear-relevant animal stimuli, such as dogs, birds and fish, were processed like fear-relevant stimuli following aversive learning. Pictures of a priori fear-relevant animals, snakes and spiders, were evaluated as negative in affective priming and ratings and were preferentially attended to in a visual search task. Pictures of dogs, birds and fish that had been trained as CS+ in an aversive conditioning design were evaluated more negatively and facilitated dot probe detection relative to CS- pictures. The current studies demonstrated that stimuli viewed as positive prior to aversive learning were negative and were preferentially attended to after a brief learning episode. We propose that aversive learning may provide a mechanism for the acquisition of stimulus fear relevance.
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Mallan, K.; Lipp, Ottmar; Cochrane, B. (2013)The preparedness theory of classical conditioning proposed by Seligman (1970, 1971) has been applied extensively over the past 40 years to explain the nature and “source” of human fear and phobias. In this review we examine ...
Enhanced sensitization to animal, interpersonal, and intergroup fear-relevant stimuli (but no evidence for selective one-trial fear learning)Lipp, Ottmar; Cronin, S.; Alhadad, S.; Luck, Camilla (2015)© 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research. Selective sensitization has been proposed as an alternative explanation for enhanced responding to animal fear-relevant stimuli-snakes and spiders-during extinction of ...
Enhanced sensitization to animal, interpersonal, and intergroup fear-relevant stimuli (but no evidence for selective one-trial fear learning)Lipp, Ottmar; Cronin, S.; Alhadad, S.; Luck, C. (2015)Selective sensitization has been proposed as an alternative explanation for enhanced responding to animal fear-relevant stimuli—snakes and spiders—during extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning. The current study sought ...