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Consensus design of a calibration experiment for human fear conditioning

Bach, D. R., Sporrer, J., Abend, R., Beckers, T., Dunsmoor, J. E., Fullana, M. A., Gamer, M., Gee, D. G., Hamm, A., Hartley, C. A., Herringa, R. J., Jovanovic, T., Kalisch, R., Knight, D. C., Lissek, S., Lonsdorf, T. B., Merz, C. J., Milad, M., Morriss, J., Phelps, E. A. , Pine, D. S., Olsson, A., Van Reekum, C. M. ORCID: and Schiller, D. (2023) Consensus design of a calibration experiment for human fear conditioning. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 148. 105146. ISSN 0149-7634

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2023.105146


Fear conditioning is a widely used laboratory model to investigate learning, memory, and psychopathology across species. The quantification of learning in this paradigm is heterogeneous in humans and psychometric properties of different quantification methods can be difficult to establish. To overcome this obstacle, calibration is a standard metrological procedure in which well-defined values of a latent variable are generated in an established experimental paradigm. These intended values then serve as validity criterion to rank methods. Here, we develop a calibration protocol for human fear conditioning. Based on a literature review, series of workshops, and survey of N = 96 experts, we propose a calibration experiment and settings for 25 design variables to calibrate the measurement of fear conditioning. Design variables were chosen to be as theory-free as possible and allow wide applicability in different experimental contexts. Besides establishing a specific calibration procedure, the general calibration process we outline may serve as a blueprint for calibration efforts in other subfields of behavioral neuroscience that need measurement refinement.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:111542
Uncontrolled Keywords:Calibration design, Measurement theory, Multi-laboratory consensus, Experimental design, Metrology, Experiment-based calibration, Human fear conditioning


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