New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

Failing to Forget: Inhibitory-Control Deficits Compromise Memory Suppression in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Ana Catarino, Charlotte S. Küpper, Aliza Werner-Seidler, Tim Dalgleish, and Michael C. Anderson

People with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often experience intrusive memories and flashbacks; however, research has suggested that, to different degrees, people are able to voluntarily suppress these types of unwanted memories. People with and without PTSD who had experienced a past trauma completed a think/no-think task in which they studied cue images paired with traumatic scenes. Participants were then shown each cue image and instructed to think — or not think — about the scene with which that cue was paired. The researchers found impaired suppression-induced forgetting of traumatic material in participants with PTSD compared with those without PTSD. The largest deficits were seen in patients with the most severe PTSD symptoms. The intrusive memories experienced by those with PTSD may result from problems with inhibitory control over memory.

Grasp Posture Alters Visual Processing Biases Near the Hands

Laura E. Thomas

Research has indicated that observed changes in the visual processing of objects located near hands reflects adaptation to potential behavioral contexts. Do differences in the way hands are positioned — and the types of behaviors these positions allow — bias visual processing in different ways? Participants performed a global-motion-detection task and a global-form-perception task while placing their hands in a posture allowing for a power grasp or a precision grasp, or with their hands in their lap. Participants performed better on the motion-detection task when their hands were in a power posture and better on the form-perception task when their hands were in a precision posture. The visual system, it seems, biases processing toward information that is relevant to the actions people are prepared to take.

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