Emotional processing in PTSD: an event-related potential study

Robert D. Torrence, Jeremy A. Andrzejewski, Lucy J. Troup

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been characterized by difficulty in emotional processing. Identifying the underlining neurological processes related to emotional facial processing in PTSD may
provide important information about the development and maintenance of PTSD symptoms. The aim of this study was to examine event-related potentials (ERPs) during an emotional processing task in individuals with PTSD characteristics and individuals without PTSD. The task measured implicit and explicit emotional expression recognition and empathy in positive (happy), neutral, and negative (angry and fearful) facial expressions. The
mean amplitude of the P300 component was compared between the PTSD and non-PTSD groups. Behavioral measures indicated no significant differences in emotion processing between controls and those scoring highly
on the PCL-5 measure for PTSD. The ERP results indicated that the mean amplitude for the P300 component was reduced in the PTSD group when
compared to non-PTSD. These results suggested individuals with PTSD have a deficit in early discrimination between emotional facial expressions
on a neurological level. Previous research has indicated that individuals with anxiety and depression have a similar reduction in the P300 component as this study found in individuals with PTSD.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventCognitive Neuroscience Society 23rd Annual Meeting - New York Hilton Midtown, New York City, United States
Duration: 2 Apr 20165 Apr 2016


ConferenceCognitive Neuroscience Society 23rd Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleCNS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City
Internet address


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