Development of anxiety: The role of threat appraisal and fear learning

Jennifer C. Britton, Shmuel Lissek, Christian Grillon, Maxine A. Norcross, Daniel S. Pine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Anxious individuals exhibit threat biases at multiple levels of information processing. From a developmental perspective, abnormal safety learning in childhood may establish threat-related appraisal biases early, which may contribute to chronic disorders in adulthood. This review illustrates how the interface among attention, threat appraisal, and fear learning can generate novel insights for outcome prediction. This review summarizes data on amygdala function, as it relates to learning and attention, highlights the importance of examining threat appraisal, and introduces a novel imaging paradigm to investigate the neural correlates of threat appraisal and threat-sensitivity during extinction recall. This novel paradigm can be used to investigate key questions relevant to prognosis and treatment. Depression and Anxiety, 2011.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • amygdala
  • attention
  • fear conditioning
  • generalization
  • ventromedial prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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