Heart rate, startle response, and intrusive trauma memories

Psychophysiology
Chia-Ying ChouChris R Brewin

Abstract

The current study adopted the trauma film paradigm to examine potential moderators affecting heart rate (HR) as an indicator of peritraumatic psychological states and as a predictor of intrusive memories. We replicated previous findings that perifilm HR decreases predicted the development of intrusive images and further showed this effect to be specific to images rather than thoughts, and to detail rather than gist recognition memory. Moreover, a group of individuals showing both an atypical sudden reduction in HR after a startle stimulus and higher trait dissociation was identified. Only among these individuals was lower perifilm HR found to indicate higher state dissociation, fear, and anxiety, along with reduced vividness of intrusions. The current findings emphasize how peritraumatic physiological responses relate to emotional reactions and intrusive memory. The moderating role of individual difference in stress defense style was highlighted.

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Citations

Apr 7, 2015·Biological Psychology·Thomas MeyerHarald L G J Merckelbach
Aug 26, 2014·Behaviour Research and Therapy·Ian A ClarkEmily A Holmes
Nov 2, 2018·Memory & Cognition·Chris R Brewin, Kirsty M R Langley
Jun 12, 2018·European Journal of Psychotraumatology·Chia-Ying ChouChris R Brewin
Sep 18, 2018·Military Psychology : the Official Journal of the Division of Military Psychology, American Psychological Association·Allison K WilkersonBernadette M Cortese
Jun 30, 2019·Journal of Neuroscience Research·Braeden A TerpouRuth A Lanius

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