New paper in PNAS

The paper Observation of others’ threat reactions recovers memories previously shaped by firsthand experiences is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Authored by Jan Haaker, Lorenzo Diaz-Mataix, Gemma Guillazo-Blanch, Sara A. Stark, Lea Kern, Joseph E. LeDoux, and Andreas Olsson.

In this paper we show, in humans and rats, that the mere observation of a conspecific’s threat reactions reinstates previously learned and extinguished threat responses in the observer. Our findings provide cross-species evidence that observation of others’ threat reactions can recover associations previously shaped by direct, firsthand aversive experiences and offers a perspective on how retrieval of threat memories draws from associative mechanisms that might underlie both observations of others’ and firsthand experiences.

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