Looking Beyond Fear and Extinction Learning: Considering Novel Treatment Targets for Anxiety

Jennifer C. Britton, Travis C. Evans, Michael V. Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Fear conditioning studies provide valuable insight into how fears are learned and extinguished. Previous work focuses on fear and extinction learning to understand and treat anxiety disorders. However, a cascade of cognitive processes that extend beyond learning may also yield therapeutic targets for anxiety disorders. Throughout this review, we will discuss recent findings of fear generalization, memory consolidation, and reconsolidation. Factors related to effectiveness, efficiency and durability of extinction-based treatments will be addressed. Moreover, adolescence may be a key developmental stage when threat-related perturbations emerge; therefore, targeting interventions during adolescence when these nascent processes are more malleable may alter the trajectory of anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Adolescence
  • Amygdala
  • Anxiety
  • Consolidation
  • Fear conditioning
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Generalization
  • Hippocampus
  • Human
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Reconsolidation
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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