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Greater sleep disturbance and longer sleep onset latency facilitate SCR-specific fear reinstatement in PTSD


Zuj, DV and Palmer, MA and Malhi, GS and Bryant, RA and Felmingham, KL, Greater sleep disturbance and longer sleep onset latency facilitate SCR-specific fear reinstatement in PTSD, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 110 pp. 1-10. ISSN 0005-7967 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.brat.2018.08.005


Fear reinstatement is one of several paradigms designed to measure fear return following extinction, as a laboratory model for the relapse of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Sleep is a key factor in emotional memory consolidation, and here we examined the relationship between sleep quality and fear reinstatement in PTSD, relative to trauma-exposed and non-exposed controls. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used as a subjective measure of sleep quality, and skin conductance responses (SCR) and unconditioned stimulus (US)-expectancy ratings were used to index threat responses during a differential fear conditioning, extinction, and reinstatement paradigm. There were no significant between-group differences in the reinstatement of conditioned responding. Sleep disturbance and sleep onset latency were significant moderators between reinstatement of fear and PTSD symptom severity, such that there was a positive relationship between PTSD symptoms and fear reinstatement for higher levels - but not lower levels - of sleep disturbance and sleep onset latency. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate PTSD-specific reinstatement patterns and sleep as a boundary condition of reinstatement. Future research using polysomnographic measures of sleep-wave architecture may further clarify the relationship between fear reinstatement and sleep quality in clinical samples with PTSD relative to controls.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Zuj, DV (Dr Daniel Zuj)
UTAS Author:Palmer, MA (Associate Professor Matt Palmer)
ID Code:132006
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Office of the School of Medicine
Deposited On:2019-04-16
Last Modified:2019-05-06

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