ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 3, 391-403, 2016
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Free Article Eye for detail: Local versus global visual processing style predicts the development of re-experiences after analogue trauma

  Muriel Hagenaars - Utrecht University
  Iris Engelhard - Utrecht University
  Peter Putman - Leiden University

Volume 7, Issue 3, 2016, Pages 391-403

Cognitive theories of posttraumatic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) posit that cognitive processing during a traumatic event plays a role in the development of intrusive trauma memories. Altered attentional processes would result in dominant perceptual processing, leading to vivid, intrusive memories, i.e., re-experiences. However, peritraumatic processing may be determined by a general attentional processing style. Thus, a pre-existing processing style might also affect memory formation. This study investigated whether two attentional processing styles (local and global processing preference) predicted the development of re-experiences after analogue trauma. Healthy participants completed measures for neuroticism and reappraisal and executed the emotional Local-Global Processing task, measuring relative preference for local versus global processing of visual stimuli. The next day, they watched an aversive film and indicated peri-film mood and subjective control. PTSD symptoms were assessed one week later. A relative preference for local processing independently predicted re-experiences of the film. Moreover, it was associated with less reappraisal and with less perceived control and more horror during the film. The results are a first step in exploring the role of pre-trauma cognitive processing styles in encoding and memory (re)consolidation.

Table of Contents
  Mood ratings.
  Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Scale, Self Report (PSS-SR).
  Reappraisal coping.
 Local-global processing task
 Local-global processing style and PTSD symptoms
 Global-local processing style, film impact, and reappraisal

Correspondence to
Muriel A. Hagenaars, Utrecht University, PO Box 80140, 3508 TS Utrecht, The Netherlands.

attention; information processing; posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD; trauma; anxiety; reexperiencing; intrusions; memory; trauma film paradigm

Received 3 Nov 2015; Revised 30 Jun 2016; Accepted 30 Jun 2016; In Press 3 Jul 2016

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