Translational neuroscience bridges insights from specific mechanisms in rodents to complex functions in humans and is key to advance our general understanding of central nervous function. A prime example of translational research is the study of cross-species mechanisms that underlie responding to learned threats, by employing Pavlovian fear conditioning protocols in rodents and humans. Hitherto, evidence for (and critique of) these cross-species comparisons in fear conditioning research was based on theoretical viewpoints. Here, we provide a perspective to substantiate these theoretical concepts with empirical considerations of cross-species methodology. This meta-research perspective is expected to foster cross-species comparability and reproducibility to ultimately facilitate successful transfer of results from basic science into clinical applications.

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Keywords Associative learning, Fear conditioning, Fear extinction, FPS, Heat-rate, Human, Individual differences, Meta-research, Methods, Paradigm, Rodent, SCR, Startle, Translation, Treezing
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Journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Haaker, J. (Jan), Maren, S. (Stephen), Andreatta, M. (Marta), Merz, C.J. (Christian J.), Richter, J. (Jan), Richter, S.H. (S. Helene), … Lonsdorf, T.B. (Tina B.). (2019). Making translation work: Harmonizing cross-species methodology in the behavioural neuroscience of Pavlovian fear conditioning. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (Vol. 107, pp. 329–345). doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.09.020