Emotional Processing in Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder A Comparison with Traumatized and Normal Controls Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Emotional numbing (EN) symptoms are an important but poorly understood component of the response to trauma. To try to demonstrate EN, this laboratory study examined subjective and psychophysiological emotion responses to standardized visual stimuli in combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), combat veterans without PTSD, and nontraumatized controls. PTSD subjects showed no evidence of generalized reduction in subjective or psychophysiological emotion responses. In response to a subset of more evocative stimuli, PTSD subjects reported less experience of Positive Emotions, and more experience of Negative Emotions than controls. For controls, valence and arousal were uncorrelated, while they were negatively correlated for PTSD subjects. Verbal and nonverbal subjective emotion measures were positively correlated for all subject groups, but there was little correlation between subjective emotion measures and psychophysiological indices. Viewing time was positively correlated with Positive Emotions for PTSD subjects, and with Negative Emotions for combat controls.

author list (cited authors)

  • Amdur, R. L., Larsen, R., & Liberzon, I.

citation count

  • 39

publication date

  • May 2000