A Working Memory Probe of Brain Function in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Proposal details

Title: A Working Memory Probe of Brain Function in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Research Area(s): PTSD and other Anxiety Disorders
Background: Impaired information processing is a feature of PTSD phenomenology. Consistent with this, deficient working memory function has been observed in PTSD. Such a deficiency may be viewed as a cognitive cost of other aspects of the disorder such as involuntary intrusive thoughts. While some investigation of the affected neural areas has been performed, a broad neural model to account for working memory deficiency in PTSD is yet to be developed. Moreover, the presence of distinct neural profiles for working memory function among PTSD subtypes (e.g. high versus low dissociation) has not been examined.
Aims: The overarching goal of this project is to identify the neural dysfunctions underpinning working memory deficits in PTSD and how these may vary amongst PTSD subtypes.
Method: The neural networks underlying working memory deficiency in PTSD will be investigated in subjects meeting criteria for PTSD (measured on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale), using fMRI and EEG recordings during performance of a working memory task.