No effect of trait anxiety on differential fear conditioning or fear generalization

David Torrents-Rodas, Miquel A. Fullana, Albert Bonillo, Xavier Caseras, Oscar Andión, Rafael Torrubia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have shown that individuals with anxiety disorders exhibit deficits in fear inhibition and excessive generalization of fear, but little data exist on individuals at risk from these disorders. The present study examined the role of trait anxiety in the acquisition and generalization of fear in 126 healthy participants selected on the basis of their trait-anxiety scores. Measures of conditioning included fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance response and online risk ratings for the unconditioned stimulus. Contrary to our hypotheses, trait anxiety did not have any effect either on the acquisition or the generalization of fear. Our results suggest that these fear conditioning processes are not impaired in individuals at risk from anxiety. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
JournalBiological Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Fear conditioning
  • Fear generalization
  • Trait anxiety

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