Enhanced priming for trauma-related material in posttraumatic stress disorder
Michael, T., Ehlers, A. and Halligan, S.L. (2005) Enhanced priming for trauma-related material in posttraumatic stress disorder. Emotion, 5 (1). pp. 103-112. ISSN 1528-3542
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1037/1528-35184.108.40.206
Intrusive reexperiencing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been linked to perceptual priming for trauma-related material. A prospective longitudinal study (N = 69) investigated perceptual priming for trauma-related, general threat, and neutral words in assault survivors with and without PTSD, using a new version of the word-stem completion task. Survivors with PTSD showed enhanced priming for trauma-related words. Furthermore, priming for trauma-related words measured soon after the trauma was associated with subsequent PTSD severity at 3 6, and 9 months. The enhanced priming effect was specific to trauma-related words. Enhanced perceptual priming for traumatic material appears to be one of the cognitive processes operating in PTSD.