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Int J Psychophysiol. 1995 Dec;20(3):209-13.

Eye movement and electrodermal responses to threat stimuli in post-traumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. r.bryant/


A core feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is hypervigilence to threatening material. This study measured processing of threat material in PTSD with simultaneously acquired initial eye movements and electrodermal activity, following presentation of threatening and neutral words. Ten PTSD subjects and 10 controls were presented with 4 words in parafoveal range. On trials in which a threat word was present, PTSD subjects demonstrated initial eye fixations on the threat word more than controls. PTSD subjects also demonstrated more orienting responses on all trials than controls. These results suggest that processing of threat information in PTSD can be usefully investigated with convergent psychophysiological methodologies.

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