Full metal jacket: The effect of combat exposure on emotion processing within working memory.
1 online resource (45 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is experienced by approximately 10 to 20% of service members and veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. To mitigate the effects of trauma experience on service members and their families, it is important to understand the impact of combat trauma exposure as well as understand underlying cognitive differences between those who develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and those who do not. One component that may lead to the development of PTSD may be attentional biases for emotional information in the environment. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether biases in emotion processing differ as a function of combat exposure in a population of veterans. Participants were grouped based on whether they had served in the military (Service group, N = 28), and those who had not served in the military (non-combat experience Control group, N = 45). Participants completed an emotion working memory task in which they viewed a series of emotional expressions (Happy, Sad, Angry, Neutral and Fearful) and indicated if the currently presented emotional expression was the same as or different than the emotional expression presented two trials earlier. Performance was compared across groups to isolate emotion-processing biases as a function of service experience (Service members with combat experience versus controls). Repeated measure ANOVA analyses replicated Emotion and Trial Type effects found in prior research, yet revealed no effects of Service. Future studies should increase recruitment of military members as well as examine components of attentional biases such as interference and avoidance to determine if these components play a role in the development or maintenance of PTSD.
ATTENTION BIASESEMOTIONEMOTION PROCESSINGPTSDWORKING MEMORY
Elnitsky, ChristineMcAnulty, Richard
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2017.
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