Margaret C Mckinnon

Margaret C Mckinnon
McMaster University | McMaster · Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences

Ph.D., C.Psych.

About

190
Publications
56,216
Reads
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7,259
Citations
Introduction
Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma, Professor and Associate Chair, Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University; Research Lead, Mental Health and Addictions, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton; Senior Scientist Homewood Research Institute;
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - December 2019
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
Position
  • Medical Professional
May 2006 - January 2021
McMaster University
Position
  • Chair
May 2006 - December 2009
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (190)
Article
We investigated the neural correlates of remote traumatic reexperiencing in survivors of a life-threatening incident: the near crash of Air Transat (AT) Flight 236. Survivors’ brain activity was monitored during video-cued recollection of the AT disaster, September 11, 2001 (9/11), and a comparatively nonemotional (neutral) event. Passengers showed...
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Three intrinsic connectivity networks in the brain, namely the central executive, salience, and default mode networks, have been identified as crucial to the understanding of higher cognitive functioning, and the functioning of these networks has been suggested to be impaired in psychopathology, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 1) To...
Article
Objective: Despite advances in our understanding of mental health issues among military forces, a large proportion of military personnel continue to exhibit deployment-related psychological issues. Recent work has identified symptoms of guilt and shame related to moral injury as contributing significantly to combat-related mental health issues. Thi...
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We investigated autobiographical memory in a group of passengers onboard a transatlantic flight that nearly ditched at sea. The consistency of traumatic exposure across passengers, some of whom developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), provided a unique opportunity to assess verified memory for life-threatening trauma. Using the Autobiographi...
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Dissociative experiences, involving altered states of consciousness, have long been understood as a consequence or response to traumatic experiences, where a reduced level of consciousness may aid in survival during and after a traumatic event. Indeed, the dissociative subtype of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD-DS) was added recently to the Di...
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Background: Systemic oppression, particularly towards sexual minorities, continues to be deeply rooted in the bedrock of many societies globally. Experiences with minority stressors (e.g. discrimination, hate-crimes, internalized homonegativity, rejection sensitivity, and microaggressions or everyday indignities) have been consistently linked to a...
Article
Introduction: The cognitive effects of cross-sex hormone therapy (CSHT) are not well understood. In cisgender individuals, sex hormone therapy can impact neurotransmitter levels and structural anatomy. Similarly, in gender-diverse persons, CSHT has been associated with neural adaptations, such as growth in brain structures resembling those observe...
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The flocculus is a region of the vestibulocerebellum dedicated to the coordination of neck, head, and eye movements for optimal posture, balance, and orienting responses. Despite growing evidence of vestibular and oculomotor impairments in the aftermath of traumatic stress, little is known about the effects of chronic psychological trauma on vestib...
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Background Researchers and practitioners have begun to recognize and empirically examine the mental health challenges facing public safety personnel (PSP). Empirical results from longitudinal data collection among PSP remains extremely scant, particularly for institutional correctional workers. We designed the current study to assess the mental hea...
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Microstates offer a promising framework to study fast-scale brain dynamics in the resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG). However, microstate dynamics have yet to be investigated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), despite research demonstrating resting-state alterations in PTSD. We performed microstate-based segmentation of resting-state E...
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Recent meta-analyses highlight alterations in cognitive functioning among individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD), with performance deficits observed across multiple cognitive domains including executive functioning, memory, and attention. Moreover, impaired concentration is a formal diagnostic criterion for a major depressive episode. Not...
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Lifestyle interventions such as exercise and mindfulness training have the potential to ameliorate mental health symptoms and restore dysregulated intrinsic connectivity network (ICN) dynamics, seen in many psychopathologies. Multiple lifestyle interventions, in combination, may interact synergistically for enhanced benefits. While the impacts of l...
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Healthcare workers (HCWs) and public safety personnel (PSP) across the globe have continued to face ethically and morally challenging situations during the COVID-19 pandemic that increase their risk for the development of moral distress (MD) and moral injury (MI). To date, however, the global circumstances that confer risk for MD and MI in these co...
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Background Increasing evidence points toward the need to extend the neurobiological conceptualization of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to include evolutionarily conserved neurocircuitries centered on the brainstem and the midbrain. The reticular activating system (RAS) helps to shape the arousal state of the brain, acting as a bridge between...
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Introduction: Physical activity has beneficial effects on mood in both healthy and clinical populations. Emerging literature suggests that physical activity may benefit psychological symptoms, such as depressive mood, in those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is estimated that 76% of Canadians have experienced a traumatic event during...
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Objectives The traumatic nature of high-risk military deployment events, such as combat, is well-recognized. However, whether other service-related events and demographic factors increase the risk of moral injury (MI), which is defined by consequences of highly stressful and morally-laden experiences, is poorly understood. Therefore, the objective...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microstates offer a promising framework to study whole-brain dynamics in the resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG). However, microstate dynamics have yet to be investigated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), despite research demonstrating resting-state alterations in PTSD. We performed microstate-based segmentation of resting-state EEG in...
Article
Purpose: This paper explores participants’ perspectives on the acceptability, utility, and perceived therapeutic effects of a virtual group cognitive remediation program, Goal Management Training (GMT)™, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advantages and drawbacks of these groups are considered as part of an online research study protocol exploring c...
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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychiatric illness that disproportionately affects military personnel, veterans, and public safety personnel (PSP). Evidence demonstrates that PTSD is significantly associated with difficulties with emotion regulation (ER) and difficulties with cognitive functioning, including difficulties with att...
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Background: A moral injury occurs when a deeply held moral code has been violated, and it can lead to the development of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the neural correlates that differentiate moral injury and PTSD remain largely unknown. Intrinsic connectivity networks such as the default mode network (DMN) appear to b...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a still-unfolding series of novel, potentially traumatic moral and ethical challenges that place many healthcare workers at risk of developing moral injury. Moral injury is a type of psychological response that may arise when one transgresses or witnesses another transgress deeply held moral values, or when one...
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Background: Up to 50% of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) endorse problematic alcohol use. Typically, these individuals present with more complex and often more severe PTSD symptoms than those who do not report problematic alcohol use. Emerging literature suggests that heightened symptoms of dissociation are likewise associate...
Article
Background Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) increase risk for negative mental health outcomes in adulthood; however, the mechanisms through which ACEs exert their influence on adult mental health are poorly understood. This is particularly true for Public Safety Personnel (PSP; e.g., police, firefighters, paramedics, etc.), a group with unique...
Article
Microstates offer a promising framework to study whole-brain dynamics in the resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG). However, microstate dynamics have yet to be investigated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), despite research demonstrating resting-state alterations in PTSD. We performed microstate-based segmentation of resting-state EEG in...
Article
Objective The effectiveness of ECT under naturalistic conditions has not been well-studied. The current study aimed to 1) characterize a naturalistic sample of ECT patients; and 2) examine the long-term outcomes of ECT on depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II; BDI-II) and functional disability symptoms (WHO Disability Assessment Schedul...
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LAY SUMMARY In 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) implemented Operation HONOUR to eliminate sexual misconduct (SM) in the military. Sexual assault, inappropriate sexual behaviours, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination are all types of SM. Experiencing SM can result in depression, substance abuse, physical health problems, and even posttr...
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Background Post-traumatic stress disorder affects 9% of individuals across their lifetime and increases nearly fourfold to 35% in Canadian public safety personnel (PSP). On-the-job experiences of PSP frequently meet criteria for traumatic events, making these individuals highly vulnerable to exposures of trauma and the negative consequences of PTSD...
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Individuals who engage in criminal behavior for which they are found not criminally responsible (NCR) may be at increased vulnerability to experience moral pain and, in extreme circumstances, moral injury after regaining insight into the consequences of their behavior. Yet, almost no research exists characterizing the nature, severity, or impact of...
Article
Moral injury (MI) is defined as the profound psychological distress experienced in response to perpetrating, failing to prevent, or witnessing acts that transgress personal moral standards or values. Given the elevated risk of adverse mental health outcomes in response to exposure to morally injurious experiences in military members, it is critical...
Article
The highly influential tri-network model proposed by Menon integrates 3 key intrinsic brain networks — the central executive network (CEN), the salience network (SN), and the default mode network (DMN), into a single cohesive model underlying normal behaviour and cognition. A large body of evidence suggests that abnormal intra- and inter- network c...
Preprint
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified dysfunctional network dynamics underlying a number of psychopathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and schizophrenia. There is tremendous potential for the development of network-based clinical biomarkers to better characterize these disorders. However, to realiz...
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Background Moral injury (MI) is consistently associated with adverse mental health outcomes, including the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicidality. Methods We investigated neural activation patterns associated with MI event recall using functional magnetic resonance imaging in participants with military and public safet...
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Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for the development of various forms of dementia. Nevertheless, the neuropathological link between PTSD and neurodegeneration remains unclear. Degeneration of the human basal forebrain constitutes a pathological hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's an...
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LAY SUMMARY Moral injury (MI) refers to the distress experienced when people do, or do not, do something that goes against their morals or values. It can also occur when people perceive that their values have been betrayed. MI is associated with several mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiet...
Article
Objective Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) present a complex and often severe clinical presentation within a concurrent disorders context. The objective of this study was to examine associations between PTSD symptoms and SUD outcomes to better understand the clinical phenomenon of comorbid PTSD and SUD. Multiv...
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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is triggered by an individual experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, often precipitating persistent flashbacks and severe anxiety that are associated with a fearful and hypervigilant presentation. Approximately 14-30% of traumatized individuals present with the dissociative subtype of PTSD, which is ofte...
Article
Background Emotions have been associated with culturally universal and distinct bodily sensation “maps”. Despite this knowledge, to date few studies have explored emotion-specific topography along clinically relevant dimensions, such as alexithymia. Objective We aimed to investigate emotion-specific topographies among individuals exposed to childh...
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Peripersonal space (PPS) is defined as the space surrounding the body where we can reach or be reached by external entities, including objects or other individuals. PPS is an essential component of bodily self-consciousness that allows us to perform actions in the world (e.g., grasping and manipulating objects) and protect our body while interactin...
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Background: Obesity and major depressive disorder (MDD) independently contribute to memory impairment. Little is known about shared neural mechanisms that may result in the cognitive impairment experienced by these populations. This study's aim was to determine how obesity impacts neural activity during a verbal recognition memory task in individu...
Article
Full-text available
The highly influential tri-network model proposed by Menon integrates 3 key intrinsic brain networks --- the central executive network (CEN), salience network (SN), and the default mode network (DMN), into a single cohesive model underlying normal behaviour and cognition. A large body of evidence suggests that abnormal intra- and inter- network con...
Article
Full-text available
Trauma can profoundly affect the sense of self, where both cognitive and somatic disturbances to the sense of self are reported clinically by individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These disturbances are captured eloquently by clinical accounts, such as, ‘I do not know myself anymore,’ ‘I will never be able to experience normal emot...
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Background Recent meta-analyses point towards cognitive impairments in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), particularly in such executive function subdomains as planning and organization. Scant attention has focused on cognitive remediation strategies that may reduce cognitive dysfunction, with a possible corresponding decrease in symptoms of OCD....
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Self-related processes define assorted self-relevant or social-cognitive functions that allow us to gather insight and to draw inferences related to our own mental conditions. Self-related processes are mediated by the default mode network (DMN), which, critically, shows altered functionality in participants with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD...
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Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with heightened impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors, including higher rates of substance use than individuals without PTSD. Although a number of studies suggest that impulsivity is associated with substance use in PTSD, the specific role of impulsivity in this common pattern of...
Article
War metaphors are consistently utilized during times of adversity in popular culture, with the current global pandemic being no exception. This paper discusses use of war analogies to conjure images of bravery and sacrifice, while noting that these images tend to focus exclusively on the negative aspects of war. Taking analogies of war further, thi...
Article
The Autobiographical Interview (AI) separates internal (episodic) and external (non-episodic) details from transcribed protocols using an exhaustive and reliable scoring system. While the details comprising the internal composite are centered on elements of episodic memory, external details are more heterogeneous as they are meant to capture a vari...
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Full-text available
Autobiographical memory (AM) refers to memories of events that are personally relevant and are remembered from one's own past. The AM network is a distributed brain network comprised largely by prefrontal medial and posteromedial cortical brain regions, which together facilitate AM. Autobiographical memories with high arousal and negatively valence...
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Intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs), including the default mode network (DMN), central executive network (CEN), and salience network (SN) have been shown to be aberrant in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The purpose of the current study was to a) compare ICN functional connectivity between PTSD, dissociative subtype PTSD (PTS...
Article
Background: Functional impairment among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents a significant factor in recovery. Critically, functional impairment appears to persist following remission of PTSD symptoms. To date, work investigating functional impairment among individuals with PTSD has focused on PTSD symptom clusters, exc...
Article
Introduction: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous disorder, with multiple symptom presentations. Delineating the neuropsychological characteristics associated with previously identified symptom clusters may therefore be useful in assisting to better define symptom subtypes of OCD. Areas Covered: This review summarizes the existin...
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Introduction: Recently, there has been substantial interest in exploring the heterogeneity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on a neurobiological level, as individuals with PTSD, including military members and Veterans, vary in their presentation of symptoms. Methods: Critically, a dissociative subtype of PTSD (PTSD+DS) has been defined, wher...
Article
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with information processing deficits across several cognitive domains. Two examples include biased reactivity (e.g., emotional arousal/reaction) to, and explicit (episodic) memory for, emotional information. Recent research suggests that, compared to healthy controls (HCs), acute depressive states may b...
Preprint
The Autobiographical Interview (AI) separates internal (episodic) and external (non-episodic) details from transcribed protocols using an exhaustive and reliable scoring system. While the details comprising the internal composite are centered on elements of episodic memory, external details are more heterogeneous as they are meant to capture a vari...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Brainstem and midbrain neuronal circuits that control innate, reflexive responses and arousal are increasingly recognized as central to the neurobiological framework of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The reticular activation system represents a fundamental neuronal circuit that plays a critical role not only in generating arous...
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Background: The innate alarm system consists of a subcortical network of interconnected midbrain, lower brainstem, and thalamic nuclei, which together mediate the detection of evolutionarily-relevant stimuli. The periaqueductal gray is a midbrain structure innervated by the innate alarm system that coordinates the expression of defensive states fo...
Article
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) typically experience states of reliving and hypervigilance; however, the dissociative subtype of PTSD (PTSD+DS) presents with additional symptoms of depersonalization and derealization. Although the insula is critical to emotion processing, its association with these contrasting symptom profile...