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The Effect of Viewpoint Dependence in Spatial Memory Tasks on Intrusive Memories in Analogue Trauma

Polack, RELR; (2014) The Effect of Viewpoint Dependence in Spatial Memory Tasks on Intrusive Memories in Analogue Trauma. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Part one of this thesis is a literature review on the use of Imagery Restructuring (IR) within anxiety disorders. Narrative methods were used to synthesise the findings of 18 studies. The review details the range of different IR methodology and revealed IR to be an effective short-term, long-term and preventative technique across different anxiety disorders, reducing anxiety, imagery and memory related symptomology. However, IR could not be established as an effective intervention in isolation with long-term therapeutic effects. Given the heterogeneity of the studies’ methodology, of IR and anxiety pathology, a range of potential mechanisms underpinning IR are theorised. However, underlying mechanisms were not explicitly explored in the studies. Finally, the clinical implications of IR and the limitations of the review are reflected upon before research recommendations are made. Part two is an empirical study which investigates the effect of egocentric and allocentric memory processing on intrusive memory (IM) frequency following exposure to analogue trauma films. Forty five healthy participants were allocated in turn, stratifying for gender to the egocentric or allocentric recognition memory task group or to the control group. Participants who undertook an egocentric memory task experienced significantly fewer intrusive images than the control group (who listened to music). This supports Dual Representation Theory (DRT) – that intrusive memories are underpinned by relatively stronger sensory-perceptual egocentric memory representations and relatively weaker contextualised, allocentric based memory representations. Allocentric memory tasks did not significantly increase or reduce the number of intrusive memories experienced. Theoretical, neurobiological and methodological explanations are offered for these findings. Part three is a critical appraisal which addresses four issues. Firstly, the conceptualisation of intrusive imagery as being transdiagnostic and on a continuum. Secondly, how the project prompted the consideration of PTSD as a construct more broadly. Thirdly, the issue of measuring intrusive memory and considerations for measurement in future research. Finally, two key learning experiences around ethics of trauma designs and the dynamics of working with a research assistant.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: The Effect of Viewpoint Dependence in Spatial Memory Tasks on Intrusive Memories in Analogue Trauma
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1449464
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