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Playing the computer game Tetris prior to viewing traumatic film material and subsequent intrusive memories: Examining proactive interference
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Warneford Hosp, Oxford OX3 7JX, England;MRC, Cognit & Brain Sci Unit, 15 Chaucer Rd, Cambridge CB22 7EF, England.
MRC, Cognit & Brain Sci Unit, 15 Chaucer Rd, Cambridge CB22 7EF, England.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5055-8617
Univ Oxford, Dept Expt Psychol, South Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3UD, England;UCL, Dept Expt Psychol, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, England.
Univ Lausanne, Dept Child & Adolescent Psychiat, Lausanne, Switzerland;Univ Lausanne, Dept Neonatol, Lausanne, Switzerland;Univ Lausanne, Dept Obstet & Gynecol, Lausanne, Switzerland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9950-9661
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, ISSN 0005-7916, E-ISSN 1873-7943, Vol. 53, p. 25-33Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and objectives: Visuospatial working memory (WM) tasks performed concurrently or after an experimental trauma (traumatic film viewing) have been shown to reduce subsequent intrusive memories (concurrent or retroactive interference, respectively). This effect is thought to arise because, during the time window of memory consolidation, the film memory is labile and vulnerable to interference by the WM task. However, it is not known whether tasks before an experimental trauma (i.e. proactive interference) would also be effective. Therefore, we tested if a visuospatial WM task given before a traumatic film reduced intrusions. Findings are relevant to the development of preventative strategies to reduce intrusive memories of trauma for groups who are routinely exposed to trauma (e.g. emergency services personnel) and for whom tasks prior to trauma exposure might be beneficial. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions. In the Tetris condition (n = 28), participants engaged in the computer game for 11 min immediately before viewing a 12-min traumatic film, whereas those in the Control condition (n = 28) had no task during this period. Intrusive memory frequency was assessed using an intrusion diary over 1-week and an Intrusion Provocation Task at 1 week follow-up. Recognition memory for the film was also assessed at 1-week. Results: Compared to the Control condition, participants in the Tetris condition did not report statistically significant difference in intrusive memories of the trauma film on either measure. There was also no statistically significant difference in recognition memory scores between conditions. Limitations: The study used an experimental trauma paradigm and findings may not be generalizable to a clinical population. Conclusions: Compared to control, playing Tetris before viewing a trauma film did not lead to a statistically significant reduction in the frequency of later intrusive memories of the film. It is unlikely that proactive interference, at least with this task, effectively influences intrusive memory development. WM tasks administered during or after trauma stimuli, rather than proactively, may be a better focus for intrusive memory amelioration. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2016. Vol. 53, p. 25-33
Keywords [en]
Intrusive memory, Trauma film paradigm, Working memory task interference, Tetris, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Memory consolidation, Trauma prevention
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-405163DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.11.004ISI: 000383731600005PubMedID: 27664818OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-405163DiVA, id: diva2:1396893
Available from: 2020-02-26 Created: 2020-02-26 Last updated: 2020-02-27Bibliographically approved

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Holmes, Emily A.

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