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Master Thesis

Avènement de la peur conditionnée comme modèle animal du trouble de stress post-traumatique

Abstract : Background: fear conditioning (FC) is one of the dominant models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the first results of FC experiments were published in the 1920s, PTSD appeared as a diagnosis in 1980 (DSM-III). Models of PTSD based of FC have been criticized for lacking validity (e.g. being adaptive, not pathological). How did FC become a dominant model of PTSD? The aim of this thesis was to shed light on the way conceptual links between the constructs of PTSD and FC have emerged and evolved. Methods: qualitative (reviews of the literature) and qualitative (text mining) analyses were carried out, using methods borrowed from academic fields of the history and philosophy of science. Results: the constructs of FC and PTSD were first linked by analogy (conditioning/trauma and conditioned fear/PTSD re-experience symptoms) shortly after the recognition of PTSD (1980s). Fear conditioning only started to be used as an animal model of PTSD in 2003, ten years after the creation of the first explicit model of PTSD. From there, FC has rapidly expanded to its current dominant position. Conceptual links mostly concern neural circuits of fear and extinction. We propose that the convergence of scientific theories of fear and extinction circuits, and synaptic plasticity, with PTSD care, within a political context of strong interest in PTSD, has stimulated research on FC to model PTSD. Convergence materialized with collaborations between clinician-scientists within centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs and medical academic centers, in the USA. Conclusion: collision of medical, scientific and political history has resulted in FC becoming a dominant model of PTSD. Current uses of FC in modeling PTSD are heterogeneous, however, introducing conceptual vagueness and ambiguity. These issues should be clarified in the future.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 12:41:13 PM
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Thomas Bienvenu. Avènement de la peur conditionnée comme modèle animal du trouble de stress post-traumatique. Sciences du Vivant [q-bio]. 2019. ⟨dumas-02432341⟩



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