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Salivary α-amylase levels as a biomarker of experienced fear

Buchanan, Tony W. and Bibas, David and Adolphs, Ralph (2010) Salivary α-amylase levels as a biomarker of experienced fear. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 3 (6). pp. 525-527. ISSN 1942-0889. PMCID PMC3038053.

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We recently reported data related to emotions collected in conjunction with a museum exhibit on emotion (Goose Bumps! - The Science of Fear).1 In this addendum, we present additional data collected as part of that study. We collected two commonly measured indices of emotional arousal, salivary cortisol and α-amylase, before and after participants had gone through a realistic fear challenge course as part of the exhibit. We found that alpha-amylase, but not cortisol, showed a highly specific increase only for those participants who endorsed both emotional arousal and negative valence. By contrast, the fear-inducing course resulted in high arousal but positive valence in some participants; in these, no increased α-amylase was measured. We conclude that salivary α-amylase is a promising biomarker for fearful experiences, and suggest that it is important to pay attention to positively valenced arousal that may be induced by fearful stimuli in a laboratory setting.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2010 Landes Bioscience. Received 06 Jun 2010, Accepted 06 Jun 2010, Published online: 01 Nov 2010.
Subject Keywords:emotion, affect, facial expression, sympathetic nervous system, alphaamylase, cortisol, museum
Issue or Number:6
PubMed Central ID:PMC3038053
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170208-081713178
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Official Citation:Tony Buchanan, David Bibas & Ralph Adolphs (2010) Salivary α-amylase levels as a biomarker of experienced fear , Communicative & Integrative Biology, 3:6, 525-527, DOI: 10.4161/cib.3.6.12606
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:74146
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Feb 2017 16:41
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:35

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