Prefrontal-posterior coupling while observing the suffering of other people, and the development of intrusive memories.
Bottom Line: The factors contributing to why some people develop intrusive memories and others do not are still poorly understood.Individuals showing greater decreases of functional coupling between prefrontal and posterior cortices (greater decreases of EEG beta coherences) reported more intrusive memories of the witnessed events.The findings illuminate brain mechanisms involved in the encoding of information in ways that make intrusive memories more likely.
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology Unit, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: On average, EEG beta coherence decreased from the reference period to viewing the film (right hemisphere: t(120) = 7.1, p < .001; M = 0.049, SD = 0.019; M = 0.040, SD = 0.017; left hemisphere: t(120) = 8.0, p < .001; M = 0.051, SD = 0.022; M = 0.039, SD = 0.017). To illustrate the changes of prefrontal-posterior EEG coherence while observing the suffering of other people, prefrontal-posterior EEG coherences (beta frequency band, right hemisphere) during the reference period preceding the film and during viewing the film were calculated for participants scoring one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below the sample mean on the IES-R intrusion scale using linear regression (Figure 3). Figure 3 illustrates that prefrontal-posterior coherence decreased during watching the film in individuals with high scores on the IES-R intrusion scale, whereas it did not decrease in indiviuals who reported few film-related intrusions over the week. A highly similar pattern was observed relating to the short-term intrusion rating immediately following the film. In addition, we show a descriptive illustration of the EEG power spectra during the neutral reference period and during the stressful film, calculated for participants scoring one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below the sample mean on the IES-R intrusion scale using linear regression (Figure 4).
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology Unit, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.