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Article award for Andreas Burger

At the annual meeting of the postgraduate school for Experimental Psychopathology (April 6th), Andreas Burger was awarded the article prize for best academic paper of 2017.

Stimulation of the vagus nerve

The paper entitled ┬┤Mixed evidence for the potential of non-invasive transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation to improve the extinction and retention of fear┬┤appeared in the academic journal Behaviour Research and Therapy. Andreas was awarded the prize, because of the clear description of the study, linking fundamental research to clinical applications, and as it was regarded as an example of modern day science, with - for example - its emphasis on the pre-registration of a study (where hypotheses are made clear in advance at a registration site).

The paper was written together with Bart Verkuil (Leiden University) and colleagues from Leuven University (prof. dr. Ilse van Diest and prof. dr. Bram Vervliet). The main goal of the study was to test the effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) on the extinction and retention of classically conditioned fear. Mixed evidence for an effect of tVNS was obtained: participants in the tVNS group showed an accelerated extinction of declarative (expectancies of receiving a shock when seeing the conditioned stimulus) but not physiological indices of fear. 

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