New York: Overcoming fear is even more difficult for adolescents than it is for children as teenagers` reactions to threat remain for sometime even when the danger is over, according to a new study.Researchers led by Weill Cornell Medical College found that once a teenager`s brain is triggered by a threat, the ability to suppress an emotional response to the threat is diminished which may explain the peak in anxiety and stress-related disorders during this developmental period.By contrast, the study shows that adults and children do not have the same trouble learning when a threat is no longer present."This is the first study to show, in an experiment, that adolescent humans have diminished fear extinction learning," says the study`s lead author, Dr Siobhan S Pattwell, a postdoctoral fellow at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Cornell."Our findings are important because they might explain why epidemiologists have found that anxiety disorders seem to spike during adolescence or just before adolescence," Pattwell said in a statement.In the experiment, a group of volunteers - children, adolescents and adults - wore headphones and sweat meters and were asked to look at a computer screen with a sequence of blue or yellow square images.One of the squares was paired with a really unpleasant sound. For example, 50 per cent of the time the blue square would set off the noise.
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