Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany

Baumann M, Zwissler B, Schalinski I, Ruf-Leuschner M, Schauer M, Kißler J (2013)
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 7.

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Abstract
People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often suffer from memory disturbances. In particular, previous studies suggest that PTSD patients perform atypically on tests of directed forgetting, which may be mediated by an altered emotional appraisal of the presented material. Also, a special role of dissociative symptoms in traumatized individuals’ memory performance has been suggested. Here, we investigate these issues in traumatized immigrants in Germany. In an item-method directed forgetting task, pictures were presented individually, each followed by an instruction to either remember or forget it. Later, recognition memory was tested for all pictures, regardless of initial instruction. Overall, the PTSD group’s discrimination accuracy was lower than the control group’s, as PTSD participants produced fewer hits and more false alarms, but the groups did not differ in directed forgetting itself. Moreover, the more negatively participants evaluated the stimuli, the less they were able to discriminate old from new items. Participants with higher dissociation scores were particularly poor at recognizing to-be-forgotten items. Results confirm PTSD patients’ general discrimination deficits, but provide no evidence for a distinct directed forgetting pattern in PTSD. Furthermore, data indicate that, in general, more negatively perceived items are discriminated with less accuracy than more positively appraised ones. Results are discussed in the larger context of emotion and stress-related modulations of episodic memory, with particular focus on the role of dissociative symptoms.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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Baumann M, Zwissler B, Schalinski I, Ruf-Leuschner M, Schauer M, Kißler J. Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2013;7.
Baumann, M., Zwissler, B., Schalinski, I., Ruf-Leuschner, M., Schauer, M., & Kißler, J. (2013). Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7.
Baumann, M., Zwissler, B., Schalinski, I., Ruf-Leuschner, M., Schauer, M., and Kißler, J. (2013). Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 7.
Baumann, M., et al., 2013. Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7.
M. Baumann, et al., “Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany”, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 7, 2013.
Baumann, M., Zwissler, B., Schalinski, I., Ruf-Leuschner, M., Schauer, M., Kißler, J.: Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 7, (2013).
Baumann, Michaela, Zwissler, Bastian, Schalinski, Inga, Ruf-Leuschner, Martina, Schauer, Maggie, and Kißler, Johanna. “Directed Forgetting in Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder: A Study of Refugee Immigrants in Germany”. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 7 (2013).
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'Forget me (not)?' - Remembering Forget-Items Versus Un-Cued Items in Directed Forgetting.
Zwissler B, Schindler S, Fischer H, Plewnia C, Kissler JM., Front Psychol 6(), 2015
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