Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2019 Apr;4(4):381-389. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.12.010. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Peritraumatic Neural Processing and Intrusive Memories: The Role of Lifetime Adversity.

Author information

1
Clinical Stress and Emotion Laboratory, Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: julina.rattel@sbg.ac.at.
2
Clinical Stress and Emotion Laboratory, Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
4
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; Neuroscience Institute, Christian-Doppler-Clinic, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
5
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Translational Research in Psychiatry and Neuroimaging, Munich, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pathological peritraumatic encoding is proposed as a proximal risk factor for the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with trauma-analog studies linking increased neural processing of trauma films to intrusive trauma recollections, a core symptom of PTSD. Cumulative lifetime adversity is proposed as a more distal risk factor, with research indicating a tipping point at about five events with regard to PTSD development following re-exposure to trauma. Thus, within a diathesis × stress framework, increased peritraumatic neural processing may constitute a specific risk factor for PTSD, particularly in individuals with several lifetime adversities.

METHODS:

Fifty-three healthy women watched highly aversive films depicting severe interpersonal violence versus neutral films during functional magnetic resonance imaging, and they reported involuntary recollections during subsequent days. Moderation analyses tested the interactive relationship between peritraumatic neural processing and lifetime adversity in predicting intrusion load, i.e., the total number of intrusions weighted for their average distress.

RESULTS:

Increased processing of aversive versus neutral films in the amygdala, anterior insula, dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortices, and hippocampus predicted increased intrusion load only in participants reporting above five lifetime adversities; for participants reporting few to none, no such relationship was found. This interactive relationship explained ≤59% of variance. Conditioned stimuli preceding film viewing mirrored this pattern.

CONCLUSIONS:

Peritraumatic neural processing in multiple salience network regions and cumulative lifetime adversity interactively predicted PTSD-like symptomatology, representing a diathesis × stress framework that might guide identification of at-risk individuals and potential targets for symptom prevention after traumatic incidents.

KEYWORDS:

Adverse childhood experiences; Affective neuroscience; Diathesis-stress model; Pavlovian conditioning; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Trauma film

PMID:
30773472
DOI:
10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.12.010

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center