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dc.contributor.authorRoberts, Clark
dc.contributor.authorApergis-Schoute, Annemieke M
dc.contributor.authorBruhl, Annette
dc.contributor.authorNowak, Magda
dc.contributor.authorBaldwin, David S
dc.contributor.authorSahakian, Barbara
dc.contributor.authorRobbins, Trevor
dc.date.accessioned2022-06-07T08:11:12Z
dc.date.available2022-06-07T08:11:12Z
dc.date.issued2022-05-31
dc.date.submitted2021-08-01
dc.identifier.issn2158-3188
dc.identifier.others41398-022-01981-3
dc.identifier.other1981
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/337750
dc.description.abstractAvoidance and heightened responses to perceived threats are key features of anxiety disorders. These disorders are characterised by inflexibility in dynamically updating behavioural and physiological responses to aversively conditioned cues or environmental contexts which are no longer objectively threatening, often manifesting in perseverative avoidance. However, less is known about how anxiety disorders might differ in adjusting to threat and safety shifts in the environment or how idiosyncratic avoidance responses are learned and persist. Twenty-eight patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), without DSM co-morbidities, and 27 matched healthy controls were administered two previously established paradigms: Pavlovian threat reversal and shock avoidance habits through overtraining (assessed following devaluation with measures of perseverative responding). For both tasks we used subjective report scales and skin conductance responses (SCR). In the Pavlovian threat reversal task, patients with GAD showed a significantly overall higher SCR as well as a reduced differential SCR response compared to controls in the early but not late reversal phase. During the test of habitual avoidance responding, GAD patients did not differ from controls in task performance, habitual active avoidance responses during devaluation, or corresponding SCR during trials, but showed a trend toward more abstract confirmatory subjective justifications for continued avoidance following the task. GAD patients exhibited significantly greater skin conductance responses to signals of threat than controls, but did not exhibit the major deficits in reversal and safety signal learning shown previously by patients with OCD. Moreover, this patient group, again unlike OCD patients, did not show evidence of altered active avoidance learning or enhanced instrumental avoidance habits. Overall, these findings indicate no deficits in instrumental active avoidance or persistent avoidance habits, despite enhanced responses to Pavlovian threat cues in GAD. They suggest that GAD is characterised by passive, and not excessively rigid, avoidance styles.
dc.description.sponsorshipBJS receives funding from the Leverhulme Trust and the Lundbeck Foundation, and her research diagnostic Co-operative (MIC) and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Mental Health theme. This research was funded by the Wellcome Trust (Grant 104631/Z/14/Z to TWR). For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
dc.languageen
dc.publisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
dc.subjectArticle
dc.subject/631/477/2811
dc.subject/631/443
dc.subject/9
dc.subject/9/10
dc.subjectarticle
dc.titleThreat reversal learning and avoidance habits in generalised anxiety disorder.
dc.typeArticle
dc.date.updated2022-06-07T08:11:12Z
prism.issueIdentifier1
prism.publicationNameTransl Psychiatry
prism.volume12
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.85159
dcterms.dateAccepted2022-05-20
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1038/s41398-022-01981-3
rioxxterms.versionVoR
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.contributor.orcidRoberts, Clark [0000-0003-3503-457X]
dc.contributor.orcidSahakian, Barbara [0000-0001-7352-1745]
dc.contributor.orcidRobbins, Trevor [0000-0003-0642-5977]
dc.identifier.eissn2158-3188
pubs.funder-project-idWellcome Trust (104631/Z/14/Z)
cam.issuedOnline2022-05-31


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