Anxiety disorders, as well as trauma- and stress-related disorders have been understood as psychiatric conditions related to biobehavioral mechanisms involved in defense against threats. Avoidance is considered a major point involved in both the genesis and treatment of these disorders, but research in this area was neglected for decades, especially in clinical populations. More recently, however, the development of the knowledge upon reflexive defensive behaviors in these disorders has been so huge and promising to the development of knowledge in clinical population, that the motivation to study operant learning in these subjects, especially escape and avoidance, has risen again. In this context, the present project aims to explore the characteristics of avoidance learning in subjects with threat-related disorders, by means of an active avoidance protocol. Thus, the avoidance pattern observed in the clinical population will be compared against the controls and the clinical sample will be explored internally in order to find subgroups of disorders. These data would be of great value to movement of reorganization of psychiatric conditions that is currently in progress.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: