It's time: A commentary on fear extinction in the human brain using fMRI

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The recent meta-analysis by Fullana et al. (2018) is both timely and significant, providing a vital milestone towards understanding the neural networks involved in threat extinction in humans. Fullana et al. (2018) examined both threat extinction and recall separately using sophisticated meta-analytic methods based on raw contrast maps. Importantly, the meta-analysis highlighted a lack of consistent activation across studies for key neural “players” in the threat extinction circuit: the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). In the current commentary, we highlight reasons for which this key circuitry may not have resulted from this meta-analysis, and call for a ‘gold standard’ in the examination of threat extinction using fMRI.

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