ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1592-1599.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01592

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Animal models and related neurobiological mechanisms of conditioned fear relapse

FU Juan1,2; ZHENG Xi-Geng1; LIU Zheng-Kui1   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of psychology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China) (2 Department of Life Science, Binzhou University, Binzhou 256600, China)
  • Received:2016-01-28 Online:2016-10-15 Published:2016-10-15
  • Contact: ZHENG Xi-Geng, E-mail:


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has received widespread concern at home and abroad. Exposure therapy, based on fear extinction, is commonly used in clinical practice. But the recurrence rate is still high after treatment. It suggests that the inhibition of fear relapse may be the key issue in the treatment of PTSD. Animal models of conditioned fear relapse include reinstatement, renewal, and spontaneous recovery, but most of the research has focused on renewal. Previous studies showed that fear relapse has heterogeneity, but the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdale may constitute common neural substrates. This article reviews brain region mechanisms and pharmacological intervention associated with conditioned fear relapse. It may provide reference for theoretical study and clinical treatment.

Key words: fear relapse, animal models, extinction, neurobiological mechanisms