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Exposure to trauma-relevant pictures is associated with tachycardia in victims who had experienced an intense peritraumatic defensive response: the tonic immobility.

Alves Rde C, Portugal LC, Fernandes O, Mocaiber I, Souza GG, David Ide P, Volchan E, de Oliveira L, Pereira MG - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Violent crime group showed a positive correlation between heart rate changes after viewing trauma-related pictures and tonic immobility scores.We observed that low tonic immobility scores were associated with bradycardia and high scores with tachycardia in response to trauma-relevant pictures.For the no violent crime group, no significant correlation was detected.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Behavior, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Biomedical Institute, Federal Fluminense University Niterói, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Tonic immobility is an involuntary, last-ditch defensive reaction characterized by physical inactivity in a context of inescapable threat that has been described in many species, including humans. The occurrence of this defensive response is a predictor of the severity of psychiatric disorders and may be considered as an index of an intense reaction to a traumatic event. Here, we investigated whether the retrospective reports of peritraumatic tonic immobility reaction in participants exposed to a traumatic event would modify their cardiac responses to pictures related to their trauma. Using a questionnaire of life-threating events, we selected students who experienced violent crime as their most intense trauma and students who had never experienced a violent crime trauma, but experienced other traumatic events. All participants completed a questionnaire that estimated the intensity of tonic immobility during their most intense trauma. Electrocardiographic recordings were collected during exposure to pictures. Participants viewed emotional pictures (human attack with guns) and neutral pictures. These emotional stimuli were selected to be trauma-relevant to the violent crime group and non trauma-relevant to the no violent crime trauma group. Violent crime group showed a positive correlation between heart rate changes after viewing trauma-related pictures and tonic immobility scores. We observed that low tonic immobility scores were associated with bradycardia and high scores with tachycardia in response to trauma-relevant pictures. For the no violent crime group, no significant correlation was detected. These results suggest that the relevance of the stimuli and the magnitude of the defensive response during a previous trauma event were important factors triggering more intense defensive responses.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Correlations in participants who had never experienced violent crime, but had other traumas. No significant correlation was detected between the tonic immobility scores and heart rate changes that occurred while viewing non trauma-relevant (A) and neutral pictures (B). The values of the tonic immobility scores represent the means per subject of the four “motor” items on the TIS-4.
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Figure 2: Correlations in participants who had never experienced violent crime, but had other traumas. No significant correlation was detected between the tonic immobility scores and heart rate changes that occurred while viewing non trauma-relevant (A) and neutral pictures (B). The values of the tonic immobility scores represent the means per subject of the four “motor” items on the TIS-4.

Mentions: In the group of participants who had other traumas but never undergone a traumatic violent crime, no significant correlation was observed between heart rate changes that occurred while viewing human attack pictures (non trauma-relevant pictures) and the TIS (ρ = 0.22; p = 0.43, Figure 2A). No significant correlation was observed while participants were exposed to neutral pictures either (ρ = -0.08; p = 0.86, Figure 2B).


Exposure to trauma-relevant pictures is associated with tachycardia in victims who had experienced an intense peritraumatic defensive response: the tonic immobility.

Alves Rde C, Portugal LC, Fernandes O, Mocaiber I, Souza GG, David Ide P, Volchan E, de Oliveira L, Pereira MG - Front Psychol (2014)

Correlations in participants who had never experienced violent crime, but had other traumas. No significant correlation was detected between the tonic immobility scores and heart rate changes that occurred while viewing non trauma-relevant (A) and neutral pictures (B). The values of the tonic immobility scores represent the means per subject of the four “motor” items on the TIS-4.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4274794&req=5

Figure 2: Correlations in participants who had never experienced violent crime, but had other traumas. No significant correlation was detected between the tonic immobility scores and heart rate changes that occurred while viewing non trauma-relevant (A) and neutral pictures (B). The values of the tonic immobility scores represent the means per subject of the four “motor” items on the TIS-4.
Mentions: In the group of participants who had other traumas but never undergone a traumatic violent crime, no significant correlation was observed between heart rate changes that occurred while viewing human attack pictures (non trauma-relevant pictures) and the TIS (ρ = 0.22; p = 0.43, Figure 2A). No significant correlation was observed while participants were exposed to neutral pictures either (ρ = -0.08; p = 0.86, Figure 2B).

Bottom Line: Violent crime group showed a positive correlation between heart rate changes after viewing trauma-related pictures and tonic immobility scores.We observed that low tonic immobility scores were associated with bradycardia and high scores with tachycardia in response to trauma-relevant pictures.For the no violent crime group, no significant correlation was detected.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Behavior, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Biomedical Institute, Federal Fluminense University Niterói, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Tonic immobility is an involuntary, last-ditch defensive reaction characterized by physical inactivity in a context of inescapable threat that has been described in many species, including humans. The occurrence of this defensive response is a predictor of the severity of psychiatric disorders and may be considered as an index of an intense reaction to a traumatic event. Here, we investigated whether the retrospective reports of peritraumatic tonic immobility reaction in participants exposed to a traumatic event would modify their cardiac responses to pictures related to their trauma. Using a questionnaire of life-threating events, we selected students who experienced violent crime as their most intense trauma and students who had never experienced a violent crime trauma, but experienced other traumatic events. All participants completed a questionnaire that estimated the intensity of tonic immobility during their most intense trauma. Electrocardiographic recordings were collected during exposure to pictures. Participants viewed emotional pictures (human attack with guns) and neutral pictures. These emotional stimuli were selected to be trauma-relevant to the violent crime group and non trauma-relevant to the no violent crime trauma group. Violent crime group showed a positive correlation between heart rate changes after viewing trauma-related pictures and tonic immobility scores. We observed that low tonic immobility scores were associated with bradycardia and high scores with tachycardia in response to trauma-relevant pictures. For the no violent crime group, no significant correlation was detected. These results suggest that the relevance of the stimuli and the magnitude of the defensive response during a previous trauma event were important factors triggering more intense defensive responses.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus