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Neurosci Lett. 2010 Dec 17;486(3):117-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.07.040. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Response inhibition in adolescent earthquake survivors with and without posttraumatic stress disorder: a combined behavioral and ERP study.

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State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether adolescent patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show an impairment of executive control in a response inhibition task and to investigate its neurophysiological correlates using event-related potentials (ERPs). We analyzed data from 25 Wenchuan earthquake survivors between 15 and 19 years of age (16 diagnosed with PTSD) using a Go/NoGo task. The PTSD group made more commission errors than the non-PTSD group, indicating impairment in response inhibition. The PTSD group responded faster to Go trials and there was a significant negative correlation between their reaction time and commission/omission errors, reflecting a speed-accuracy tradeoff for the PTSD group. The PTSD group exhibited a shorter NoGo-N2 latency than the non-PTSD group, suggesting faster monitoring or detection of the response conflict. These results suggest that the impairment of response inhibition in adolescent participants with PTSD is related to their impulsive cognitive functioning.

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