Feedforward Mitigation of Physiological Fear Response to a Visual and Auditory Startle Stimulus
Le Gros, Gabriel
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Feelings of fear serve to protect individuals from experiencing harm from their external environment. Physiological responses to fear include increased heart rate, increased respiration rate, and increased skin conductance. In this experiment, the feedforward response to fear was tested through the utilization of two videos which both included the same auditory and visual startle stimulus. The purpose of the experiment was to test whether the feedforward response mitigates the difference between the body’s baseline physiological measurements and the heightened fear response. Participants were given an expectation of fear for the first video, initiating a feedforward response. For the second video, participants were given the expectation of a neutral response; however, there was still a fear inducing image and sound. The difference in amplitude of measured physiological responses between prestartle to poststartle stimulus were compared to represent the mitigation effects of the feedforward response. The results of this study show that the feedforward response of fear expectancy increased heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance, allowing the body to prepare for an upcoming stimulus. However, no statistical significance was found between the difference in amplitude between the expectancy period and the postfear response period in heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance when comparing the first video to the second video.
auditory and visual stimulus