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Biological responses to trauma and the development of intrusive memories: An analog study with the trauma film paradigm.

Chou, CY; La Marca, R; Steptoe, A; Brewin, CR; (2014) Biological responses to trauma and the development of intrusive memories: An analog study with the trauma film paradigm. Biol Psychol , 103 pp. 135-143. 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.08.002. Green open access

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Abstract

Evidence suggests that previous trauma reduces the cortisol response to subsequent stressors. We examined the relation of this response to intrusive memory, and the potential moderating roles of sympathetic reactions. Pre-existing trauma-related factors and the cardiac defense response were assessed before 58 healthy participants viewed a trauma film. Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA) were collected pre-, peri- and post-film. Intrusive memories about the film were recorded for a week. Cortisol increased whereas sAA decreased after the film. Those with more recent traumatic experiences and greater subclinical PTSD symptoms had lower cortisol concentration post-film. Lower cortisol levels predicted greater vividness of intrusions. Positive correlations between cortisol and the frequency of intrusion were only present among individuals with more sympathetic activations. These findings suggest the contribution of insufficient cortisol secretion to over-consolidation of traumatic memory, and highlight the variation attributable to individual differences and different memory characteristics.

Type: Article
Title: Biological responses to trauma and the development of intrusive memories: An analog study with the trauma film paradigm.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.08.002
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.08.002
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Keywords: Alpha-amylase, Cardiovascular defense response, Cortisol, Intrusions, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Trauma film
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1447150
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