Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gilbert, David

Abstract

Skin conductance responses were used to assess the effects of THC on conditioned fear response amplitude and extinction using a fear conditioning and extinction paradigm that paired an aversive unconditioned stimulus (shock) with a conditioned stimulus (angry face). Participants (N = 10 males) exhibited conditioning to the CS+, as indicated by a larger CR to the CS+ than to the CS-. THC did not have a significant effect on extinction of the CR across trials, but there was a significant interaction of social anxiety with drug that suggests that THC may facilitate extinction of CR to fear-conditioned stimuli in more socially anxious individuals. These results provide support for the hypothesis that THC may act as an anxiolytic in fear-eliciting situations. The current study was limited by a small sample size and a potential confound that may have influenced the SCL during conditioned responding.

Share

COinS
 

Access

This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Others should
contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library.