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The effects of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the emotion-induced memory trade-off.

Mickley Steinmetz KR, Scott LA, Smith D, Kensinger EA - Front Integr Neurosci (2012)

Bottom Line: Three groups of participants (25 with current PTSD, 27 who had experienced trauma but did not have current PTSD, and 25 controls who had neither experienced significant trauma nor met criteria for current PTSD) were shown complex visual scenes that included an item (positive, negative, or neutral) placed on a neutral background.An emotion-induced memory trade-off was said to occur when there was a significant difference in item and background memory for emotional scenes, but not for neutral scenes.These results suggest that (1) the effect of emotion on memory for visual scenes is similar in people with PTSD and control participants, and (2) people who have experienced trauma, but do not have PTSD, may have a different way of attending to and remembering visual scenes, exhibiting less of a memory trade-off than either control participants or people with PTSD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill MA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Many past examinations of memory changes in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have focused on changes in memory for trauma. However, it is unclear if these mnemonic differences extend beyond the memory of the trauma to memory for other positive and negative information and if they are specific to individuals with PTSD or extend to other individuals who have experienced trauma. The present study examined the influences of trauma exposure and PTSD on an effect that may parallel tunnel memory in PTSD: the emotion-induced memory trade-off, whereby emotional aspects of an experience are remembered at the expense of the nonemotional context. Three groups of participants (25 with current PTSD, 27 who had experienced trauma but did not have current PTSD, and 25 controls who had neither experienced significant trauma nor met criteria for current PTSD) were shown complex visual scenes that included an item (positive, negative, or neutral) placed on a neutral background. Forty-five minutes later, participants underwent a recognition memory test for the items and backgrounds separately. An emotion-induced memory trade-off was said to occur when there was a significant difference in item and background memory for emotional scenes, but not for neutral scenes. Results indicated that people with PTSD, like the other groups, were more likely to remember positive and negative items than neutral items. Moreover, people with PTSD exhibited a memory trade-off comparable in magnitude to that exhibited by the non-trauma control group. In contrast, trauma-exposed people without a current diagnosis of PTSD did not show a trade-off, because they remembered items within scenes better than their accompanying contexts not only for emotional but also for neutral scenes. These results suggest that (1) the effect of emotion on memory for visual scenes is similar in people with PTSD and control participants, and (2) people who have experienced trauma, but do not have PTSD, may have a different way of attending to and remembering visual scenes, exhibiting less of a memory trade-off than either control participants or people with PTSD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The emotion-induced memory trade-off score ([memory for emotional item–memory for neutral item]—[memory for background paired with emotional item–memory for background paired with neutral item]) for the three groups. White bars indicate memory for scenes that included positive (pleasant) items. Gray bars indicate memory for scenes that included negative (unpleasant) items. There was a larger memory trade-off for both the PTSD and the Non-Trauma Exposed group as compared to the Trauma-Exposed group.
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Figure 2: The emotion-induced memory trade-off score ([memory for emotional item–memory for neutral item]—[memory for background paired with emotional item–memory for background paired with neutral item]) for the three groups. White bars indicate memory for scenes that included positive (pleasant) items. Gray bars indicate memory for scenes that included negative (unpleasant) items. There was a larger memory trade-off for both the PTSD and the Non-Trauma Exposed group as compared to the Trauma-Exposed group.

Mentions: For the analyses using this memory trade-off score, a Group (PTSD, Trauma, Non-Trauma) × Valence (positive, negative) ANCOVA was conducted with the Beck Depression Inventory and Rey–O Complex Figure Test Delayed score used as covariates. The pattern of results remained the same when no covariates were used or when other mood and cognitive scores were used as covariates. This ANCOVA revealed a main effect of group [F(2, 72) = 4.48, p < 0.05, PES = 0.111; see Figure 2]. As indicated by Bonferroni post hoc tests and adjusted marginal means, for both positive and negative items there was a smaller trade-off score for the trauma group (mean = 0.10, SE = 0.03) as compared to the PTSD group (mean = 0.23, SE = 0.04), and a marginally smaller trade-off for the trauma group as compared to the Non-trauma group (mean = 0.20, SE = 0.04). There was not a significant difference between trade-off scores for positive or negative scenes and there were no interactions (all F < 0.5, p > 0.4). There were also no interactions with any of the covariates.


The effects of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the emotion-induced memory trade-off.

Mickley Steinmetz KR, Scott LA, Smith D, Kensinger EA - Front Integr Neurosci (2012)

The emotion-induced memory trade-off score ([memory for emotional item–memory for neutral item]—[memory for background paired with emotional item–memory for background paired with neutral item]) for the three groups. White bars indicate memory for scenes that included positive (pleasant) items. Gray bars indicate memory for scenes that included negative (unpleasant) items. There was a larger memory trade-off for both the PTSD and the Non-Trauma Exposed group as compared to the Trauma-Exposed group.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3375624&req=5

Figure 2: The emotion-induced memory trade-off score ([memory for emotional item–memory for neutral item]—[memory for background paired with emotional item–memory for background paired with neutral item]) for the three groups. White bars indicate memory for scenes that included positive (pleasant) items. Gray bars indicate memory for scenes that included negative (unpleasant) items. There was a larger memory trade-off for both the PTSD and the Non-Trauma Exposed group as compared to the Trauma-Exposed group.
Mentions: For the analyses using this memory trade-off score, a Group (PTSD, Trauma, Non-Trauma) × Valence (positive, negative) ANCOVA was conducted with the Beck Depression Inventory and Rey–O Complex Figure Test Delayed score used as covariates. The pattern of results remained the same when no covariates were used or when other mood and cognitive scores were used as covariates. This ANCOVA revealed a main effect of group [F(2, 72) = 4.48, p < 0.05, PES = 0.111; see Figure 2]. As indicated by Bonferroni post hoc tests and adjusted marginal means, for both positive and negative items there was a smaller trade-off score for the trauma group (mean = 0.10, SE = 0.03) as compared to the PTSD group (mean = 0.23, SE = 0.04), and a marginally smaller trade-off for the trauma group as compared to the Non-trauma group (mean = 0.20, SE = 0.04). There was not a significant difference between trade-off scores for positive or negative scenes and there were no interactions (all F < 0.5, p > 0.4). There were also no interactions with any of the covariates.

Bottom Line: Three groups of participants (25 with current PTSD, 27 who had experienced trauma but did not have current PTSD, and 25 controls who had neither experienced significant trauma nor met criteria for current PTSD) were shown complex visual scenes that included an item (positive, negative, or neutral) placed on a neutral background.An emotion-induced memory trade-off was said to occur when there was a significant difference in item and background memory for emotional scenes, but not for neutral scenes.These results suggest that (1) the effect of emotion on memory for visual scenes is similar in people with PTSD and control participants, and (2) people who have experienced trauma, but do not have PTSD, may have a different way of attending to and remembering visual scenes, exhibiting less of a memory trade-off than either control participants or people with PTSD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill MA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Many past examinations of memory changes in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have focused on changes in memory for trauma. However, it is unclear if these mnemonic differences extend beyond the memory of the trauma to memory for other positive and negative information and if they are specific to individuals with PTSD or extend to other individuals who have experienced trauma. The present study examined the influences of trauma exposure and PTSD on an effect that may parallel tunnel memory in PTSD: the emotion-induced memory trade-off, whereby emotional aspects of an experience are remembered at the expense of the nonemotional context. Three groups of participants (25 with current PTSD, 27 who had experienced trauma but did not have current PTSD, and 25 controls who had neither experienced significant trauma nor met criteria for current PTSD) were shown complex visual scenes that included an item (positive, negative, or neutral) placed on a neutral background. Forty-five minutes later, participants underwent a recognition memory test for the items and backgrounds separately. An emotion-induced memory trade-off was said to occur when there was a significant difference in item and background memory for emotional scenes, but not for neutral scenes. Results indicated that people with PTSD, like the other groups, were more likely to remember positive and negative items than neutral items. Moreover, people with PTSD exhibited a memory trade-off comparable in magnitude to that exhibited by the non-trauma control group. In contrast, trauma-exposed people without a current diagnosis of PTSD did not show a trade-off, because they remembered items within scenes better than their accompanying contexts not only for emotional but also for neutral scenes. These results suggest that (1) the effect of emotion on memory for visual scenes is similar in people with PTSD and control participants, and (2) people who have experienced trauma, but do not have PTSD, may have a different way of attending to and remembering visual scenes, exhibiting less of a memory trade-off than either control participants or people with PTSD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus