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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2021

Acquisition and maintenance of disgust reactions in an OCD analogue sample: Efficiency of extinction strategies through a counter-conditioning procedure

Abstract

Background Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has long been considered as an anxiety disorder, disgust is the dominant emotion in contamination-based OCD. However, disgust seems resistant to exposure with response prevention partly due to the fact that disgust is acquired through evaluative conditioning. Aims The present research investigates a counter-conditioning intervention in treating disgust-related emotional responses in two groups of individuals with high (High contamination concerns, HCC, n = 24) and low (Low contamination concerns LCC, n = 23) contamination concerns. Methods The two groups completed a differential associative learning task in which neutral images were followed by disgusting images (conditioned stimulus; CS+), or not (CS-). Following this acquisition phase, there was a counter-conditioning procedure in which CS+ was followed by a very pleasant unconditional stimulus while CS- remained unreinforced. Results Following counter-conditioning, both groups reported significant reduction in their expectancy of US occurrence and reported less disgust with CS+. For both expectancy and disgust, reduction was lower in the HCC group than in the LCC group. Disgust sensitivity was highly correlated with both acquisition and maintenance of the response acquired, while US expectation was predicted by anxiety. Conclusion Counter-conditioning procedure reduces both expectations and conditioned disgust.
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hal-03286699 , version 1 (20-04-2022)

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Caroline Novara, Cindy Lebrun, Alexandra Macgregor, Bruno Vivet, Pierre Thérouanne, et al.. Acquisition and maintenance of disgust reactions in an OCD analogue sample: Efficiency of extinction strategies through a counter-conditioning procedure. PLoS ONE, 2021, 16 (7), pp.e0254592. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0254592⟩. ⟨hal-03286699⟩
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