Several studies have revealed that fear recovery is prevented when extinction training is conducted after retrieval of a fear memory. Postretrieval extinction training is related to modification of memory during reconsolidation. Providing new information during reconsolidation can modify the original memory. We propose that avoidance behavior is a relevant factor that prevents subjects from obtaining new safety information during reconsolidation. Postretrieval extinction training without avoidance behavior reduced the fear response to conditioned stimulus and prevented spontaneous recovery in the current study, which corresponded with previous studies. Under the condition of postretrieval extinction training with avoidance behavior, the fear response was not reduced as much as it was in the condition without avoidance. It is possible that avoidance behavior prevents receiving new safety information during postretrieval extinction training.
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