Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
William A. Falls
anxiety, stress, PTSD, generalization, fear conditioning, discrimination
Prior lifetime experience of stress is a significant risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders. The mechanisms by which stress conveys these effects are unknown and likely involve complicated neurobiological alterations. In order to begin to characterize this relationship, we examined the effect of two weeks of chronic stress on fear learning and discrimination. Contrary to our hypothesis, we failed to observe exaggerated fear or poor discrimination in stressed mice. Although the lack of difference in fear learning between stressed and control mice may be attributed to complications in experimental design, these results suggest that the relationship between prior stress and vulnerability to PTSD is more complex than originally conceived.
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Senatore, Amanda J., "The Effect of Chronic Stress on Generalization of Conditioned Fear" (2016). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 207.