Stimulus delivery was controlled using Freeze Frame software Coulbourn Instruments. Chambers were enclosed in acoustic isolation boxes Coulbourn Instruments and lit with a red light. RihaAndrea C. In the case of specific phobias, however, attributions of fear to stimuli is not necessarily preceded by a traumatic episode encoded in memory [ 21 ].
One week prior to testing, rats in the non-sister group were rehoused in a triad that consisted of previously unfamiliar, unrelated female rats. Fear can also be acquired from a social context, such as observing the fear expression of a conspecific or witnessing another animal during a dangerous encounter.
Because there are sexual dimorphisms in the neurobiology and hormonal regulation of both fear conditioning and social recognition Bluthe and Dantzerwe thought it is important to examine our fear-conditioning by-proxy FCbP paradigm in cycling female rats. Another possibility would suggest that fear can be socially passed on, and thus acquired indirectly, through transmission of verbal information or vicarious learning in response to an otherwise neutral stimulus [ 21 ].
In this experiment, prosocial behavior occurring at the termination of the cue on day two was significantly greater between sisters than their non-sister counterparts, and this behavior resulted in increased freezing on day three. The fear conditioning by-proxy paradigm is presented in Figure 1A.
Previous chapter in book. Certain types of anxiety-related disorders, for instance post-traumatic stress PTSDinvolve, by definition, a previous experience that led to the formation of a memory now at the source of the disorder symptoms [ 14 ].
After interacting with the conditioned cagemate, a rat shows increases in amygdala activity as evidenced by increased c-Fos labeling [ 9 ], interacts differently with its cagemate, and shows enhanced fear learning [ 10 ]. We next tested whether this aforementioned procedure would modulate a subsequent tone-shock pairing fear association.
In order to better understand social transmission of fear, the possible factors contributing to the social transmission need to be dissected.
Utilizing a modified demonstrator—observer paradigm that allows free interaction between subjects—fear conditioning by proxy—we explore the ability of rats to learn an associative fear response vicariously.
Here, we review how certain individual traits in the current situational state of the subjects may either facilitate or impede learning in this social fear-conditioning paradigm and discuss how fear conditioning by proxy learning relates to empathy seen in humans.
Social transmission of fear, fear conditioning, memory retrieval, observational learning In fear conditioning, the pairing of an initially neutral conditioned stimulus e. The extent to which nonprimate laboratory animals engage in learning strategies based on vicarious experience is remarkably scantily characterized.
Behavior was recorded with digital cameras mounted on the top of each unit. Recently, attempts to determine the conditions that allow the social transmission of fear in laboratory rodents have gained traction, with results and interpretations varying to a great degree.
This direct associative learning is only one technique through which individuals can learn about potential threats.
Other groups have shown that the presence of a non-fearful conspecific can help reduce fear experienced when rodents are placed in a novel context [ 6 ]. Such experiments further our understanding of pathological fear and anxiety conditions seen in humans including posttraumatic stress disorder and specific phobias ; yet direct exposure to a stimulus is not the only way through which individuals acquire fear memories.
This design combines familiarity with kinship since the sister rats are both genetically related littermates and have shared a cage since weaning. In addition, fear conditioning by-proxy experienced prior to pairing the tone to a mild shock increased freezing during presentation of that tone the next day.
Expanding on the fear-conditioning by-proxy procedure Bruchey et al. In recent years, researchers have developed a variety of social fear learning paradigms in rodents in an effort to further investigate the social transmission of fear information in the laboratory Bruchey et al.
Rats in the sister group were given new cages but remained with the littermates with which they had been raised. Our results suggest that, during memory retrieval, fear of a stimulus can be socially transmitted to a cage-mate.
For decades, researchers have observed a number of species of animals socially transmit information relevant to their surroundings, including foraging and choosing food, recognizing predators, choosing mates, and communicating with conspecifics see Shettleworth for review.
Groups were housed together for a minimum of 10 days prior to the beginning of experiments. Consistent with our previous application of this paradigm in male rats Bruchey et al. Social transmission, Fear-conditioning, Observational learning, Indirect conditioning Introduction Most animal models of fear learning focus on direct acquisition of fear, using variations of Pavlovian conditioning.
Here, we sought to examine whether fear could be socially transmitted in rats during retrieval of a discrete memory. Rats were housed in triads with either sisters or non-related females.
We show that rats exposed to a novel tone in the presence of a cage-mate previously conditioned to that same tone selectively showed increased freezing to the stimulus the next day fear conditioning by-proxy.
All rats were then returned to their home cage, and tested the next day for fear memory expression. These findings may have implications for models of phobias.
Abstract After fear conditioning e. The chambers were wiped with soap and water between each session. Furthermore, people can develop phobias without any recollection of a previous exposure to the feared event Murray and Foote ; Olsson et al. However, the convenient design and robust responses makes direct fear conditioning the most frequently used paradigm in the research of fear and anxiety disorders.
My results indicate that the identity of demonstrator animals as well as prior experience of the observer contributes to the expression of fear acquired vicariously.
Additionally, I show that the social behaviors of caged rats are indicators of a social dominance hierarchy and are predictors of the potency of social fear transmission.The social transmission of associative fear in rats: Mechanisms and applications of fear conditioning by proxy (dissertation).
The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Dissertation Libraries, Texas Dissertation Libraries database and represents all fear conditioning by proxy experiments performed in the Monfils laboratory.
In this “fear conditioning by proxy” paradigm, we have demonstrated that some, but not all, rats display conditioned responding (e.g., freezing) to a cue after interacting with a cage mate during fear memory retrieval.
Dec 06, · Keywords: Social transmission of fear, fear conditioning, memory retrieval, observational learning In fear conditioning, the pairing of an initially neutral conditioned stimulus (e.g., an auditory tone) to an aversive unconditioned stimulus (e.g., a footshock) leads to the formation of a long-lasting fear memory, such that when the.
In fear conditioning, the pairing of an initially neutral conditioned stimulus (e.g., an auditory tone) to an aversive unconditioned stimulus (e.g., a footshock) leads to the formation of a long-lasting fear memory, such that when the tone is later presented on its own, it elicits fear expression.
Fear conditioning by proxy, as with other methods of social fear learning (Kavaliers, Colwell, & Choleris, ), is more effective when subordinate rats learn from more dominant rats in the cage (Jones & Monfils, a).
In this paradigm, play behavior is recorded in 12‐min sessions during the first 4 hr of the rat's dark cycle. Fear conditioning by-proxy: Social transmission of fear during memory retrieval Here, we examined the effect of a conditioned rat's fear memory retrieval on a naïve cage-mate's behavior to the conditioned stimulus.Download