Individual Differences in Fear Expression and Inhibition - Professor Rick Richardson

What is this research about?

There is growing awareness of, and appreciation for, the striking individual differences in fear expression and fear inhibition. For example, most individuals who experience a traumatic event will not develop PTSD but a sub-set will. What determines these individual differences in vunerability/resilience?

A greater understanding of the factors that influence whether one is more or less susceptible to adverse experiences will undoubtedly be important in developing tailored treatment and prevention programs. This work is done in collaboration with the Graham lab, and involves both behavioural and neural levels of analysis.

Other researchers involved:

Dr Bronwyn Graham PhD (UNSW) – fellow academic in the Behavioural Neuroscience group.

Gabrielle King - A student in the Combined PhD/Clinical MA program examining individual differences in the extinction of fear.

Publications relating to this research:

Walters, E. Richardson, R., & Graham, B.M. (in press). Individual differences in conditioned fear expression are associated with enduring differences in endogenous Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 and hippocampal-mediated memory performance. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Graham, B.M. & Richardson, R. (2016). Individual differences in the expression of conditioned fear are associated with endogenous fibroblast growth factor 2. Learning & Memory, 23, 42-45.

Graham, B.M. & Richardson, R. (2015). Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 as a New Approach to Fighting Fear. JAMA Psychiatry, 72, 959-960.

Graham, B.M., Callaghan, B.L., & Richardson, R. (2014). Bridging the gap: lessons we have learnt from the merging of psychology and psychiatry for the optimisation of treatments for emotional disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 62, 3-16.

Graham, B.M. & Richardson, R. (2011). Memory of Fearful Events: The role of fibroblast growth factor-2 in fear acquisition and extinction. Neuroscience, 189, 156-169.


Richardson Lab