Stress, fear generalization, and habitual responding

Schwabe

This project tests the hypothesis that stress potentiates, through the interaction of cortisol and noradrenaline, the generalization of condition fear and that this stress effect is associated with a shift from ‘cognitive’ to ‘habitual’ control of memory. To this end, three experiments will (i) examine the neural basis of this predicted stress effect using fMRI, (ii) assess the role of concurrent cortisol and noradrenaline action with the help of pharmacological manipulations, and (iii) investigate whether the impact of stress on fear generalization can be prevented by a beta blocker.