Reduced electrophysiological habituation to novelty after trauma reflects heightened salience network detection

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Abstract

Background: Event-Related Potential (ERP) studies of PTSD have reported enhanced P3 amplitudes in response to trauma-related stimuli that are less likely to habituate over time. Methods: In the present study, we compared ERPs to the first and last half of an auditory novelty oddball task using neutral (trauma-unrelated) stimuli. Participants were 59 young students who were: trauma-exposed with “Probable PTSD”, trauma-exposed without PTSD, or non-traumatized controls. Results: Reduced P3 amplitudes were observed for the last half of the trials for the entire sample, but this habituation was less profound for both trauma-exposed groups, demonstrating reduced habituation over time. Arousal symptom severity and trauma history negatively correlated with P3 amplitude habituation across the entire sample. Reduced N1 amplitudes for the last half of the trials were found in both trauma-exposed groups, but not among controls. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that trauma-exposed individuals exhibit information processing alterations in response to neutral environmental stimuli that may be related to a general pattern of heightened activity of the Salience Network. Implications for the neurobiological model of PTSD and PTSD psychotherapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107226
Pages (from-to)107226
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume134
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • ERP
  • Habituation
  • Neurobiological model of PTSD
  • PTSD
  • Salience network

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