Information processing and arousal in PTSD

Proposal details

Title: Information processing and arousal in PTSD
Research Area(s): PTSD and other Anxiety Disorders
Background: Previous research has found impairments in working memory, attention and elcetrophysiological indices of information processing, such as ERP's. Changes in autonomic arousal, indicative of increased sympathetic nervous system activity, are also consistently found in PTSD. This project will investigate the relationship between autonomic, electroencephalographic and behavioural measures in PTSD.
Aims: To determine whether impaired information processing in PTSD is related to hyperarousal.
Method: The study will utilise PTSD paritcipants and a control group, comprised of age and IQ matched controls. ERPs (from the auditory oddball (AO) and visual working memory (WM) paradigms), Behavioral measures (from AO, WM and Web questionairre)and measures of arousal (heart rate, respiratory rate and skin conductance) will be used. Data will be examined for between group differences (PTSD/non PTSD, high and low arousal etc.). Correlational analyses will also be conducted.