Sex Differences and the Neural Correlates of Safety Learning
Foilb, Allison R. “Sex Differences and the Neural Correlates of Safety Learning”. PhD, Boston College, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108467.
Accurate discrimination between safety and danger is necessary for survival, but is aberrant in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite its clinical relevance, very little is known about the cognitive and neural processes that underlie safety learning. Understanding how cues become safety signals is critical to understanding the impairments in fear modulation observed in individuals with PTSD. PTSD is more prevalent in women than men, and while research on sex differences in safety learning is limited, there is substantial evidence that males and females acquire and utilize safety signals differently. The aim of this dissertation is to describe behavioral sex differences in learning and recall of fear discrimination and explore the neural circuitry that allows this discrimination to occur.