A Deese-Roediger-McDermott study of trauma memory among employees of New York City companies affected by the September 11, 2001, attacks

Dinara Triantafyllou, Carol S North, Andrea L Zartman, Henry L. Roediger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

METHODS: Three years after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, 281 participants from a volunteer sample of 379, recruited from 8 companies directly affected by the attacks, completed an interview about their disaster experience, a structured diagnostic interview, and the DRM paradigm.

RESULTS: It was hypothesized that participants with PTSD would demonstrate more associative errors, termed false alarms to critical lures, compared to those without PTSD. This hypothesis was not supported; the only predictor of false alarms to critical lures was direct 9/11 trauma exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: The finding that 9/11 trauma-exposure was associated with false alarms to critical lures suggests that neural processing of trauma-exposure memory may involve associative elements of overgeneralization coupled with insufficient inhibition of responses to related but harmless stimuli. Future research will be needed to differentiate psychopathology, such as PTSD, from physiological fight-or-flight responses to trauma.

BACKGROUND: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been found to be associated with abnormalities in memory function. This relationship has not previously been studied using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) false memory paradigm in disaster-exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume27
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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