C1: Fear conditioning in obsessive-compulsive disorder, participants at risk and healthy controls
Project C1 examines the role of fear and safety learning in the etiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a debilitating mental disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive compulsions. We address the following questions: Are altered fear and safety learning the cause or the consequence of symptoms? Can we predict symptom development and disorder course from altered learning processes? What cognitive and neural mechanisms underlie observed changes in fear and safety learning?
To this end, we use EEG and peripheral physiological markers to examine fear learning and extinction in patients with OCD, participants at increased risk of developing OCD (unaffected relatives), and healthy participants. The predictive value of fear conditioning for symptom development is examined with recurrent follow-up measures of symptoms.
- Project lead: Prof. Dr. Anja Riesel