Emotional brain function in PTSD: Comparing conscious and nonconscious processing

Proposal details

Title: Emotional brain function in PTSD: Comparing conscious and nonconscious processing
Research Area(s): PTSD and other Anxiety Disorders
Background: Our ARC-linkage project is focused on comparing PTSD, malingered PTSD and healthy controls in terms of emotional brain function. We are using fMRI, corresponding ERPs and simultaneous autonomic arousal measures.
Aims: 'Genuine' PTSD will be distinguished from 'malingered' PTSD by reduced frontal and exaggered amygdala activity, most apparent during excessive arousal, and in response to fear stimuli. This profile will reflect excessive bottom up processing, with a lack of top-down inhibition. ERPs will reveal a corresponding increase in the speed of fear processing, reflecting great bottom-up automatic fear processing.
Method: We will use the facial emotion perception task, with fMRI and ERPs and concurrently recorded SCRs. Oddball stimuli will be analysed in complementary studies.