Background/Objective: In the last decade, socio-political violence in Colombia (South America) has created an environment of extreme/chronic stress. In this study, brain imaging technology (fMRI) and behavioral task performance were used to measure potential deficits in executive functioning for emotional processing in Colombian children. Method: Participants (22 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD and 22 neurotypical, NT) were asked to perform a word task with implicit emotional salience, which required them to report the color of the ink in which a positive, negative or neutral word was printed. Results: Mixed design analysis of variance showed no group differences in accuracy for determining ink color when presented as a positive or neutral word. However, PTSD children were significantly less accurate (negative words) and notably slower (both positive and negative words) at determining ink color when presented in the context of an emotional word. PTSD processing of positive and negative words was associated with hypoactivation in the superior and middle frontal gyri of the right hemisphere in comparison to NT children. Conclusions: These results may reflect a deficit in executive functioning for emotionally laden stimuli, perhaps induced as a by-product of their traumatic experiences.
|Translated title of the contribution||Implicit processing of emotional words by children with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: An fMRI investigation|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2020|
- Brain activation