Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Psychol. 2012 Oct 30;3:449. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00449. eCollection 2012.

Neural systems for cognitive and emotional processing in posttraumatic stress disorder.

Author information

1
Duke-University of North Carolina Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University Durham, NC, USA ; Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center Durham, NC, USA.

Abstract

Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show altered cognition when trauma-related material is present. PTSD may lead to enhanced processing of trauma-related material, or it may cause impaired processing of trauma-unrelated information. However, other forms of emotional information may also alter cognition in PTSD. In this review, we discuss the behavioral and neural effects of emotion processing on cognition in PTSD, with a focus on neuroimaging results. We propose a model of emotion-cognition interaction based on evidence of two network models of altered brain activation in PTSD. The first is a trauma-disrupted network made up of ventrolateral PFC, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), hippocampus, insula, and dorsomedial PFC that are differentially modulated by trauma content relative to emotional trauma-unrelated information. The trauma-disrupted network forms a subnetwork of regions within a larger, widely recognized network organized into ventral and dorsal streams for processing emotional and cognitive information that converge in the medial PFC and cingulate cortex. Models of fear learning, while not a cognitive process in the conventional sense, provide important insights into the maintenance of the core symptom clusters of PTSD such as re-experiencing and hypervigilance. Fear processing takes place within the limbic corticostriatal loop composed of threat-alerting and threat-assessing components. Understanding the disruptions in these two networks, and their effect on individuals with PTSD, will lead to an improved knowledge of the etiopathogenesis of PTSD and potential targets for both psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic interventions.

KEYWORDS:

PTSD; cognitive control; emotion processing; emotion-cognition interactions; neuroimaging

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center