Presentation Title: Fear Appraisal Latency and Inhibitory Control in PTSD

Abstract: The interaction between emotional and cognitive processes may be disrupted in individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), who experience symptoms including stressful reactivity to trauma-related cues and difficulty concentrating. To explore this interaction we analyzed the association between perceptual sensitivity to fearful faces in an emotion appraisal task and performance in attention tasks with fearful face distractors in trauma-exposed controls without PTSD, and individuals with PTSD. Although perceptual sensitivity was not associated to performance on the attention tasks in controls, it was a strong predictor of performance in individuals with PTSD. However, the direction of the association depended on the difficulty of the attention task. In the easier attention task, low sensitivity to fearful faces was associated with better performance, whereas in the harder task it was associated with poorer performance.


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