Preconscious processing of threat in posttraumatic stress disorder

Allison G. Harvey, Richard A. Bryant*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Conscious and preconscious processing of threatening information in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was studied using a masked modified Stroop paradigm. Twenty subjects who had been in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) and met criteria for PTSD were compared with 20 MVA non-PTSD and 20 non-MVA subjects. PTSD subjects, but not MVA or non-MVA subjects, demonstrated greater interference on threat words in both the masked and unmasked conditions. The results suggest that preferential processing of threat-related information in PTSD occurs at a preconscious stage of processing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)613-623
    Number of pages11
    JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


    • Anxiety
    • Attention
    • Information processing
    • Posttraumatic stress disorder


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