Article

Trauma Films, Information Processing, and Intrusive Memory Development

Psychology Department, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, United Kingdom.
Journal of Experimental Psychology General (Impact Factor: 5.5). 03/2004; 133(1):3-22. DOI: 10.1037/0096-3445.133.1.3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Three experiments indexed the effect of various concurrent tasks, while watching a traumatic film, on intrusive memory development. Hypotheses were based on the dual-representation theory of posttraumatic stress disorder (C. R. Brewin, T. Dalgleish, & S. Joseph, 1996). Nonclinical participants viewed a trauma film under various encoding conditions and recorded any spontaneous intrusive memories of the film over the following week in a diary. Changes in state dissociation, heart rate, and mood were also measured. As predicted, performing a visuospatial pattern tapping task at encoding significantly reduced the frequency of later intrusions, whereas a verbal distraction task increased them. Intrusive memories were largely unrelated to recall and recognition measures. Increases in dissociation and decreases in heart rate during the film were also associated with later intrusions.

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    • "Participants kept a daily intrusive memory diary for the following week (Holmes et al. 2004). Participants were asked to write the content of any intrusive memory (e.g. the car hitting the boy) and their emotional rating of the intrusive memory, from 1 'very negative' to 5 'very positive'. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: A hallmark symptom after psychological trauma is the presence of intrusive memories. It is unclear why only some moments of trauma become intrusive, and how these memories involuntarily return to mind. Understanding the neural mechanisms involved in the encoding and involuntary recall of intrusive memories may elucidate these questions. Method: Participants (n = 35) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while being exposed to traumatic film footage. After film viewing, participants indicated within the scanner, while undergoing fMRI, if they experienced an intrusive memory of the film. Further intrusive memories in daily life were recorded for 7 days. After 7 days, participants completed a recognition memory test. Intrusive memory encoding was captured by comparing activity at the time of viewing 'Intrusive scenes' (scenes recalled involuntarily), 'Control scenes' (scenes never recalled involuntarily) and 'Potential scenes' (scenes recalled involuntarily by others but not that individual). Signal change associated with intrusive memory involuntary recall was modelled using finite impulse response basis functions. Results: We found a widespread pattern of increased activation for Intrusive v. both Potential and Control scenes at encoding. The left inferior frontal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus showed increased activity in Intrusive scenes compared with Potential scenes, but not in Intrusive scenes compared with Control scenes. This pattern of activation persisted when taking recognition memory performance into account. Intrusive memory involuntary recall was characterized by activity in frontal regions, notably the left inferior frontal gyrus. Conclusions: The left inferior frontal gyrus may be implicated in both the encoding and involuntary recall of intrusive memories.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Psychological Medicine
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    • "For seven days after the film, the participant recorded film-related intrusions on a paper tabular diary (cf. Brewin & Saunders, 2001; Hagenaars & Arntz, 2012; Holmes, Brewin, & Hennessy, 2004). The diary consisted of rows (part of the day, reporting all information of a particular intrusion on one line) and columns (information about the characteristics of the intrusion). "
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    ABSTRACT: During imagery rescripting (ImRs) an aversive memory is relived and transformed to have a more positive outcome. ImRs is frequently applied in psychological treatment and is known to reduce intrusions and distress of the memory. However, little is known about the necessity to incorporate the central aversive parts of the memory in ImRs. To examine this necessity one hundred participants watched an aversive film and were subsequently randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions: ImRs including the aversive scenes (Late ImRs), ImRs without the aversive scenes (Early ImRs), imaginal exposure (IE) or a control condition (Cont). Participants in the IE intervention reported the highest distress levels during the intervention; Cont resulted in the lowest levels of self-reported distress. For the intrusion frequency, only the late ImRs resulted in fewer intrusions compared to the Cont condition; Early ImRs produced significantly more intrusions than the Late ImRs or IE condition. Finally, the intrusions of the Late ImRs condition were reported as less vivid compared to the other conditions. To conclude, it seems beneficial including aversive scenes in ImRs after an analogue trauma induction.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Memory
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    • "For 7 days after the trauma induction , the participant recorded induction - related intrusions on a paper tabular diary ( cf . Brewin and Saunders , 2001 ; Holmes et al . , 2004 ; Hagenaars and Arntz , 2012 ) . They noted the content of each intrusion ( what was the intrusion about ? ) , the situation that triggered the intrusion , the valence of the emotion accompanying the intrusion , and the level of distress , vividness , control and spontaneity on a scale from 0 to 100 ( with 0 representing low levels and "
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    ABSTRACT: Most people are exposed to a violent or life-threatening situation during their lives, but only a minority develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Experimental studies are necessary to assess risk factors, such as imagery ability, for the development of PTSD. Up to now the trauma film paradigm (TFP) has functioned as an analogue for PTSD. This paradigm is known to induce involuntary intrusions, a core symptom of PTSD. Though useful, the film paradigm has a drawback, the participant remains an “outsider” and does not immerse in the film scenes. The aim of the present study was to develop a fitting virtual reality (VR) analogue for PTSD and to assess risk factors for the development of PTSD-symptoms, such as intrusions. To this end a novel VR paradigm was compared to the traditional TFP. Both the VR and TFP elicited a negative mood and induction-related intrusions. More immersion was observed in the VR paradigm compared to the TFP. The results of the risk factors were mixed; more imagery ability coincided with a higher intrusion frequency, but also with less distressing intrusions. The results, implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Frontiers in Psychology
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