Neural Systems Involved in Fear Inhibition: Extinction and Conditioned Inhibition

  • Michael Davis
  • William A. Falls
  • Jonathan Gewirtz
Part of the Neurobiological Foundation of Aberrant Behaviors book series (NFAB, volume 1)


“I can’t get the memories out of my mind! The images come flooding back in vivid detail, triggered by the most inconsequential things, like a door slamming or the smell of stir-fried pork. Last night, I went to bed, was having a good sleep for a change. Then in the early morning a storm-front passed through and there was a bolt of crackling thunder. I awoke instantly, frozen in fear. I am right back in Viet Nam, in the middle of the monsoon season at my guard post. I am sure I’ll get hit in the next volley and convinced I will die. My hands are freezing, yet sweat pours from my entire body. I feel each hair on the back of my neck standing on end. I can’t catch my breath and my heart is pounding. I smell a damp sulfur smell. Suddenly I see what’s left of my buddy Troy, his head on a bamboo platter, sent back to our camp by the Viet Cong. Propaganda messages are stuffed between his clenched teeth. The next bolt of lightning and clap of thunder makes me jump so much that I fall to the floor..... ” (Paraphrased from a war veteran’s conversations with Dr. R. L. Gelman, Dept. of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine).


Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Fear Inferior Colliculus Medial Prefrontal Cortex Conditioned Inhibition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Davis
  • William A. Falls
  • Jonathan Gewirtz

There are no affiliations available

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