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Intrusive Images in Psychological Disorders: Characteristics, Neural Mechanisms, and Treatment Implications

Brewin, CR; Gregory, JD; Lipton, M; Burgess, N; (2010) Intrusive Images in Psychological Disorders: Characteristics, Neural Mechanisms, and Treatment Implications. PSYCHOL REV , 117 (1) 210 - 232. 10.1037/a0018113.

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Abstract

Involuntary images and visual memories are prominent in many types of psychopathology. Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, and psychosis frequently report repeated visual intrusions corresponding to a small number of real or imaginary events, usually extremely vivid, detailed, and with highly distressing content. Both memory and imagery appear to rely on common networks involving medial prefrontal regions, posterior regions in the medial and lateral parietal cortices, the lateral temporal cortex, and the medial temporal lobe. Evidence from cognitive psychology and neuroscience implies distinct neural bases to abstract, flexible, contextualized representations (C-reps) and to inflexible, sensory-bound representations (S-reps). We revise our previous dual representation theory of posttraumatic stress disorder to place it within a neural systems model of healthy memory and imagery. The revised model is used to explain how the different types of distressing visual intrusions associated with clinical disorders arise, in terms of the need for correct interaction between the neural systems supporting S-reps and C-reps via visuospatial working memory. Finally, we discuss the treatment implications of the new model and relate it to existing forms of psychological therapy.

Type: Article
Title: Intrusive Images in Psychological Disorders: Characteristics, Neural Mechanisms, and Treatment Implications
DOI: 10.1037/a0018113
Keywords: memory, imagery, neuroscience, psychopathology, treatment, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOR THERAPY, MULTIPLE MEMORY-SYSTEMS, WORKING-MEMORY, MENTAL-IMAGERY, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY, SPATIAL MEMORY, CANCER-PATIENTS, SOCIAL PHOBIA, SPECIAL-ISSUE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/125406
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