Psykologisk Institut

Niels Peter Nielsen

Using Virtual Reality to Examine Emotional Hotspots and Intrusions in the Trauma Film Paradigm

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Moments of high emotional distress (hotspots) during a traumatic event are assumed to be closely related to post-event intrusions. However, this assumption lacks experimental investigation. Here, we used a virtual reality (VR) trauma analogue to investigate hotspots, and their possible overlap with involuntary and voluntary memories recorded in a diary study. Thirty-two participants were exposed to a VR trauma analogue, identified hotspots, and rated their characteristics immediately and after a 1-week diary study. Most involuntary and voluntary memories recorded in the diary referred to moments previously identified as hotspots, and hotspots that were recalled were more distressing than non-recalled hotspots, irrespective of retrieval strategy. Only some hotspots were repeated after a 1-week delay and new ones were formed, suggesting less than expected consistency. The findings replicate and extend findings from real-life trauma research, and suggest that the use of VR may be an important asset to the trauma film paradigm.

TidsskriftJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Sider (fra-til)370-380
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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