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Comparing Cognitive Aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma

  • Mariana Kneese FlaksEmail author
  • Pedro Fonseca Zuccolo
  • Francisco Lotufo-Neto
Reference work entry

Abstract

Attentional, executive, and memory deficits have been described in PTSD, as well as emotional cognitive biases. Many findings, however, are controversial and conflicting. Here, we describe strategies for outlining a cognitive profile in PTSD. Though difficult to carry out, longitudinal and monozygotic twin studies are the best designs for measuring the cognitive effects of stress, trauma, and PTSD. Cross-sectional studies may have their reliability improved by the comparison of three groups: trauma victims who developed PTSD, trauma victims without PTSD, and healthy controls not exposed to trauma. Studies should also be homogeneous regarding type of trauma and neuropsychological instruments.

Keywords

Stress Trauma PTSD Research methodologies Neuropsychology Cognitive bias False memories 

List of Abbreviations

APA-DSM-5

American Psychiatric Association’s – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition

APT

Attentional probe task

CNS

Central nervous system

EST

Emotional Stroop test

GAD

Generalized anxiety disorder

HC

Healthy control group of subjects who did not suffer traumatic experiences

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder

SCNT

Stroop color-naming test

PTSD+

Subjects who were exposed to traumatic events and developed PTSD symptoms and consequent diagnosis

PTSD−

Subjects who were victims of trauma without being diagnosed with PTSD

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariana Kneese Flaks
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pedro Fonseca Zuccolo
    • 2
  • Francisco Lotufo-Neto
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa de Atendimento e Pesquisa em Violência (PROVE), Department of PsychiatryFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Psychology – Experimental PsychologyPsychology Institute, University of São PauloButantãBrazil
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryPsychiatry Institute, University of São PauloCerqueira CésarBrazil

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