Animal behavioural profiles are commonly employed to investigate new therapeutic agents to treat anxiety disorders as well as to investigate the mechanism of action of anxiolytic drugs. However, many clinically important symptoms of anxiety can not be modelled directly in animals. Human models of anxiety should bridge between animal models and anxiety disorders. Experimental anxiety states in humans can be induced by either pharmacological means such as CO2 inhalation or psychological means such as aversive conditioning of skin conductance responses to tones. Investigation of these models may contribute to a better understanding of anxiety disorders, both from a biological and behavioural point of view. In a comprehensive review existing models of human experimental anxiety states are summarized and validity is discussed.
Keywords: Anxiety, model, anxiolytic, drug development, humans
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