Date of Award
Master of Arts
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.
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