Animal Models of Fear Relapse Academic Article uri icon


  • Whereas fear memories are rapidly acquired and enduring over time, extinction memories are slow to form and are susceptible to disruption. Consequently, behavioral therapies that involve extinction learning (e.g., exposure therapy) often produce only temporary suppression of fear and anxiety. This review focuses on the factors that are known to influence the relapse of extinguished fear. Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, spontaneous recovery, reacquisition, and reinstatement. Additionally, this review describes recent work, which has focused on the role of psychological stress in the relapse of extinguished fear. Recent developments in behavioral and pharmacological research are examined in light of treatment of pathological fear in humans.

altmetric score

  • 2.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Goode, T. D., & Maren, S.

citation count

  • 52

publication date

  • January 2014