Impaired Autobiographical Memory Flexibility in Iranian Trauma Survivors With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Reduced ability to retrieve specific autobiographical memories is a well-defined feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and science-driven interventions have emerged to improve memory specificity and thereby symptoms. However, research in depressed samples indicates that the ability to flexibly move between retrieval of specific and general memory types (i.e., memory flexibility) may more accurately conceptualize autobiographical memory deficits in emotional disturbance. In this study, we evaluated memory specificity and memory flexibility in Iranian trauma survivors (N = 63) with and without PTSD relative to community control participants. Trauma-exposed participants had experienced a serious road-traffic accident. Results indicated that individuals with PTSD experienced reduced memory specificity and memory flexibility relative to trauma-exposed participants and community control participants. A small sample size limits the strength of conclusions, although good statistical power was obtained. Findings suggest that reduced memory flexibility may be a transdiagnostic marker of emotional disturbance and support further development of memory flexibility interventions for PTSD.
Authors: Maryam Piltan, Ali Reza Moradi, Mohammad Hassan Choobin, Parviz Azadfallah, Sara Eskandari, Caitlin Hitchcock
11 / January / 2022
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