Fear Conditioning to Subliminal Fear Relevant and Non Fear Relevant Stimuli
MetadataShow full item record
A growing body of evidence suggests that conscious visual awareness is not a prerequisite for human fear learning. For instance, humans can learn to be fearful of subliminal fear relevant images – images depicting stimuli thought to have been fear relevant in our evolutionary context, such as snakes, spiders, and angry human faces. Such stimuli could have a privileged status in relation to manipulations used to suppress usually salient images from awareness, possibly due to the existence of a designated sub-cortical ‘fear module’. Here we assess this proposition, and find it wanting. We use binocular masking to suppress awareness of images of snakes and wallabies (particularly cute, non-threatening marsupials). We find that subliminal presentations of both classes of image can induce differential fear conditioning. These data show that learning, as indexed by fear conditioning, is neither contingent on conscious visual awareness nor on subliminal conditional stimuli being fear relevant.
This article is published under the Open Access publishing model and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Please refer to the licence to obtain terms for any further reuse or distribution of this work.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
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 ...
Forbes, S.; Purkis, H.; Lipp, Ottmar (2011)It has been consistently demonstrated that fear-relevant images capture attention preferentially over fear-irrelevant images. Current theory suggests that this faster processing could be mediated by an evolved module that ...