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    Conditioned suppression in a virtual environment


    Greville, W. James and Newton, Philip M. and Roche, Bryan and Dymond, Simon (2013) Conditioned suppression in a virtual environment. Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (3). pp. 552-558. ISSN 0747-5632

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    Abstract

    Virtual environments (VEs) provide an inexpensive way of conducting ecologically valid psychological research. The present study used a VE to demonstrate conditioned suppression, a behavioral model of anxiety, in a first-person perspective video game. During operant training, participants learned to shoot crates to find gold bars and thus score points in the game. Next, during Pavlovian conditioning, a colored light (i.e., conditioned stimulus: CS+) was followed by a white noise unconditioned stimulus (US) while a different colored light (CS−) was not paired with the US. Probe trials in a final testing phase were then used to assess suppression. We found significant suppression of accurate responding (shots hitting the designated targets) during the presence of the CS+ relative to the CS−, both in terms of total hits and hits as a proportion of total shots. Importantly, this effect emerged despite the overall level of operant responding being undiminished during the CS+. Our findings are consistent with related studies examining human behavior in real environments, and demonstrate the potential of VEs in combination with a modestly aversive CS to allow a detailed behavioral profile of anxiety to emerge.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The definitive version of this article is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.016
    Keywords: Conditioned suppression; Conditioning; Virtual environment; First person perspective video game; Anxiety;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 6810
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.016
    Depositing User: Dr. Bryan Roche
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 10:31
    Journal or Publication Title: Computers in Human Behavior
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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