This review will summarize results from prospective longitudinal and retrospective cross-sectional studies investigating executive function associated with PTSD. This research points specifically towards subtle impairments in response inhibition and attention regulation that may predate trauma exposure, serve simple ptsd vs complex ptsd pdf risk factors for the development of PTSD, and relate to the severity of symptoms. These impairments may be exacerbated within emotional or trauma-related contexts, and may relate to dysfunction within dorsal prefrontal networks.
A model is presented concerning how such impairments may contribute to the clinical profile of PTSD and lead to the use of alternative coping styles such as avoidance. Further neuropsychological research is needed to identify the effects of treatment on cognitive function and to potentially characterize mechanisms of current PTSD treatments. Knowledge gained from cognitive and neuroscientific research may prove valuable for informing the future development of novel, more effective, treatments for PTSD. We review neuropsychological findings related to executive functioning in PTSD. Studies find PTSD is associated with inhibitory and attention regulation deficits.
We discuss how inhibitory deficits could contribute to PTSD clinical symptoms. Neuropsychological research may provide avenues for enhancing treatment of PTSD. Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution. Human brain in the coronal orientation. Amygdalae are shown in dark red. The basolateral complex can be further subdivided into the lateral, the basal, and the accessory basal nuclei.
There are functional differences between the right and left amygdala. In one study, electrical stimulations of the right amygdala induced negative emotions, especially fear and sadness. Each side holds a specific function in how we perceive and process emotion. The right and left portions of the amygdala have independent memory systems, but work together to store, encode, and interpret emotion.
The right hemisphere is associated with negative emotion. It plays a role in the expression of fear and in the processing of fear-inducing stimuli. When an individual is presented with a conditioned, aversive stimulus, it is processed within the right amygdala, producing an unpleasant or fearful response. This emotional response conditions the individual to avoid fear-inducing stimuli.
It also plays a significant role in the retention of episodic memory. This type of memory does not require conscious recall. The right amygdala plays a role in the association of time and places with emotional properties. There is considerable growth within the first few years of structural development in both male and female amygdalae. Within this early period, female limbic structures grow at a more rapid pace than the male ones. Amongst female subjects, the amygdala reaches its full growth potential approximately 1. 5 years before the peak of male development.