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Amygdala Activity and Flasbacks in PTSD: A Review

Storm, Tania LU (2011) KOGM20 20111
Cognitive Science
Abstract
Intrusive recollections are one of the core symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Flashbacks, a subcategory of intrusive memory phenomena, are considered exclusive to the disorder, indicating a direct correlation between the traumatic event, the memory encoding and the subsequently intruding flashback. The experience of a flashback is defined as the highest degree of reliving, and the memories have an ability to distort the individual’s spatiotemporal perception. Even though flashbacks are well described in PTSD patients, the neurocognitive processes underlying them are not well understood. Amygdala is one of the brain structures repeatedly targeted in the PTSD research due to its involvement in implicit and explicit emotional... (More)
Intrusive recollections are one of the core symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Flashbacks, a subcategory of intrusive memory phenomena, are considered exclusive to the disorder, indicating a direct correlation between the traumatic event, the memory encoding and the subsequently intruding flashback. The experience of a flashback is defined as the highest degree of reliving, and the memories have an ability to distort the individual’s spatiotemporal perception. Even though flashbacks are well described in PTSD patients, the neurocognitive processes underlying them are not well understood. Amygdala is one of the brain structures repeatedly targeted in the PTSD research due to its involvement in implicit and explicit emotional memory. As an intensifier for survival-related stimuli the amygdala may contribute to the generation of flashbacks and the review at hand seeks to outline processes relating flashbacks to amygdala activity. Facets include: amygdala modulation of hippocampal activity, resulting in enhanced memory for specific details of emotional events of high arousal, amygdalar influences on the visual processing areas during encoding and later retrieval, leading to more vivid memories and, finally, amygdalar influences on the prefrontal cortex during the stages of retrieval, resulting in a stronger and more vivid reconstruction of the memories. (Less)
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author
Storm, Tania LU
supervisor
organization
course
KOGM20 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
flashbacks, PTSD, amygdala, reliving, reexperiencing, memory-modulation, emotion
language
English
id
1982195
date added to LUP
2011-06-23 16:25:17
date last changed
2011-06-23 16:25:17
@misc{1982195,
  abstract     = {Intrusive recollections are one of the core symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Flashbacks, a subcategory of intrusive memory phenomena, are considered exclusive to the disorder, indicating a direct correlation between the traumatic event, the memory encoding and the subsequently intruding flashback. The experience of a flashback is defined as the highest degree of reliving, and the memories have an ability to distort the individual’s spatiotemporal perception. Even though flashbacks are well described in PTSD patients, the neurocognitive processes underlying them are not well understood. Amygdala is one of the brain structures repeatedly targeted in the PTSD research due to its involvement in implicit and explicit emotional memory. As an intensifier for survival-related stimuli the amygdala may contribute to the generation of flashbacks and the review at hand seeks to outline processes relating flashbacks to amygdala activity. Facets include: amygdala modulation of hippocampal activity, resulting in enhanced memory for specific details of emotional events of high arousal, amygdalar influences on the visual processing areas during encoding and later retrieval, leading to more vivid memories and, finally, amygdalar influences on the prefrontal cortex during the stages of retrieval, resulting in a stronger and more vivid reconstruction of the memories.},
  author       = {Storm, Tania},
  keyword      = {flashbacks,PTSD,amygdala,reliving,reexperiencing,memory-modulation,emotion},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Amygdala Activity and Flasbacks in PTSD: A Review},
  year         = {2011},
}