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Generalization and extinction of concept-based pain-related fear

Fear can be acquired through associative learning. The ability to learn that certain stimuli predict aversive outcomes facilitates the employment of appropriate defensive responses. Since threat can present itself in many forms, generalizing a once-learned stimulus-outcome association beyond a specific instance benefits survival. Fear generalization is the adaptive ability to extrapolate information from an aversive learning experience and apply it to novel, similar threatening encounters.18,21,25,26 However, when these defensive responses spread to safe stimuli, fear and avoidance may become maladaptive.

Generalization and extinction of concept-based pain-related fear

Orginally Published At: Pain Journal

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