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Title: The effects of propranolol on intrusive and voluntary memory in an experimental model of psychological trauma
Author: Sim, Zhihui
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8132
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the effects of propranolol on intrusive and voluntary memory in an experimental model of psychological trauma. Part 1 systematically reviews research, published between 2007-2017, on post-traumatic disturbed dreaming ('PTDD') and its relationship with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It shows that recent studies have characterised PTDDs more fully. Findings support and extend existing claims about the relationship between PTDDs and PTSD. However, it also highlights important gaps in the literature, raising questions for future study. The field requires more research which sidesteps the range of methodological pitfalls. Part 2 reports on a study conducted jointly with another Doctorate in Clinical Psychology trainee. It explored the effects of the beta-blocker propranolol on participants' intrusive memories and voluntary recall of a 'trauma film'. Compared to placebo, propranolol reduced intrusive memories but did not affect voluntary recall. The implications of these results for the Dual Representation Theory (DRT) of episodic memory and for propranolol's use in the secondary prevention of PTSD symptoms are discussed. Part 3 explores additional conceptual and practical questions encountered in this research. It addresses issues associated with the use of an analogue trauma paradigm, the intrusion diary, and free/cued recall tasks. It then examines further implications of the current findings for research and clinical settings, before concluding with some personal reflections on the research process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available