Facial Emotion Recognition Difficulties in Individuals with PTSD Symptoms Público

Gapen, Mark A. (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/b8515p14w?locale=es
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Abstract


Abstract
The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship of exposure to traumatic
events and PTSD symptoms to facial emotion recognition difficulties. Recent studies
have found hyper-responsivity of the amygdala in individuals with PTSD in response to
emotional facial stimuli. The amygdala has been implicated in both the processing of
emotions and facial expressions. On the behavioral side, facial emotion recognition
difficulties have been found in individuals with a variety of psychiatric disorders.
Finally, facial emotion recognition difficulties have been found in maltreated children.
The current study tested the facial emotion recognition abilities of 162 participants from a
NIMH-funded study investigating environmental and genetic risk factors for PTSD in a
sample of low SES, African American men and women seeking care in the primary care
clinics of a public urban hospital. Results indicated that individuals with a current or
lifetime CAPS diagnosis of PTSD made more errors to faces ( p exposure to childhood sexual and physical abuse, and to traumatic events as an adult
were associated with fewer errors to faces ( p be one mechanism underlying interpersonal difficulties in individuals with PTSD. This is
the first study to document an association between PTSD and facial emotion recognition
difficulties and implications for future research are discussed.

Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.
Introduction................................................................................3
II.
Background................................................................................4
a. Neurobiology of PTSD..............................................................5
b. General and Specific Functions of the Amygdala................................8
c. Studies of Amygdala Damage in Humans.......................................11
d. Studies of Amygdala Activation in PTSD.......................................15
e. Alternative Explanations for Facial Affect Recognition Difficulty I:
Child Maltreatment................................................................18
f. Alternative Explanations for Facial Affect Recognition Difficulty II:
Alexithymia.........................................................................21
g. Emotion Recognition of Faces in Psychiatric Disorders........................23
h. Gender, the Amygdala and Facial Emotion Recognition.....................29
III.
Statement of the Problem..............................................................30
IV.
Method....................................................................................34
V.
Results....................................................................................41
VI.
Discussion................................................................................50
a. Implications.........................................................................62
b. Future Directions...................................................................64
c. Limitations..........................................................................65
d. Conclusion...........................................................................67
VII.
References...............................................................................69
VIII. Appendices..............................................................................88
a. Appendix A: Modified Posttraumatic Symptom Scale........................88
b. Appendix B: Traumatic Events Inventory.......................................90
c. Appendix C: Childhood Trauma Questionnaire...............................101
IX.
Tables...................................................................................105
a. Table 1: Rates of Trauma Exposure by Gender...............................105
b. Table 2: Means and Standard Deviations of Continuous Measures..........106
c. Table 3: Number of Individuals in Each Group for Categorical Variables107
d. Table 4: Bivariate Correlations among Measures..............................108
X.
Figures..................................................................................109






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