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Sex differences in intrusive memories following trauma


Hsu, C-MK and Kleim, B and Nicholson, E and Zuj, DV and Cushing, PJ and Gray, Kate and Clark, L and Felmingham, KL, Sex differences in intrusive memories following trauma, PLoS ONE, 13, (12) pp. e0208575. ISSN 1932-6203 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Hsu et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0208575


Background: A key mechanism thought to underlie Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is enhanced emotional memory consolidation. Recent evidence in healthy controls revealed that women have greater negative memory consolidation following stress relative to men. This study examined emotional memory consolidation in women and men with PTSD, and in trauma-exposed and non-trauma controls to test the hypothesis that emotionally negative memory consolidation would be greater in women with PTSD.

Method: One hundred and forty-seven men and women (47 with PTSD, 49 trauma-exposed controls, and 51 non-trauma controls) completed an emotional memory task where they looked at negative, neutral and positive images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Delayed recall and an intrusive memory diary were completed two days later.

Results: Women displayed greater recall, and reported more negative intrusive memories than men. A gender x group interaction effect showed that both women with PTSD and trauma-exposed women reported more intrusive memories than women without trauma exposure or men.

Conclusion: This study provided preliminary evidence of sex differences in intrusive memories in those with PTSD as well as those with a history of trauma exposure. Future research should include measures of sex hormones to further examine sex differences on memory consolidation in the context of trauma exposure and PTSD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:memory, sex differences, PTSD
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Hsu, C-MK (Mr Ken Hsu)
UTAS Author:Nicholson, E (Ms Emma Nicholson)
UTAS Author:Zuj, DV (Dr Daniel Zuj)
UTAS Author:Cushing, PJ (Ms Cushing)
UTAS Author:Gray, Kate (Ms Kate Gray)
UTAS Author:Clark, L (Mrs Latifa Clark-Walters)
ID Code:132794
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1073041)
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2019-05-21
Last Modified:2019-06-14
Downloads:19 View Download Statistics

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