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Impaired allocentric spatial processing in posttraumatic stress disorder.

Smith, KV; Burgess, N; Brewin, CR; King, JA; (2015) Impaired allocentric spatial processing in posttraumatic stress disorder. Neurobiol Learn Mem , 119 69 - 76. 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.01.007. Green open access

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Abstract

A neurobiological dual representation model of PTSD proposes that reduced hippocampus-dependent contextual processing contributes to intrusive imagery due to a loss of control over hippocampus-independent sensory and affective representations. We investigated whether PTSD sufferers show impaired allocentric spatial processing indicative of reduced hippocampal functioning. Trauma-exposed individuals with (N=29) and without (N=30) a diagnosis of PTSD completed two tests of spatial processing: a topographical recognition task comprising perceptual and memory components, and a test of memory for objects' locations within a virtual environment in which the test is from either the same viewpoint as presentation (solvable with egocentric memory) or a different viewpoint (requiring allocentric memory). Participants in the PTSD group performed significantly worse on allocentric spatial processing than trauma-exposed controls. Groups performed comparably on egocentric memory and non-spatial memory for lists of objects. Exposure to repeated incident trauma was also associated with significantly worse spatial processing in the PTSD group. Results show a selective impairment in allocentric spatial processing, implicating weak hippocampal functioning, as predicted by a neurobiological dual representation model of PTSD. These findings have important clinical implications for cognitive therapy.

Type: Article
Title: Impaired allocentric spatial processing in posttraumatic stress disorder.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.01.007
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2015.01.007
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Allocentric memory, Hippocampus, PTSD, Spatial memory, Trauma
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 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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461840
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