Investigating predictors of trauma induced data-driven processing and its impact on attention bias and free recall

John Paul Corrigan*, Donncha Hanna, Kevin F.W. Dyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Whilst data-driven processing (DDP) during trauma has been shown to play a role in poor memory integration and is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) re-experiencing symptoms, the pre-trauma risk factors and related cognitive mechanisms are uncertain.Aims: This experimental study aimed to investigate predictors of peri-traumatic DDP, as well as its role in attention bias to threat and free recall.Method: A virtual reality video was used to simulate an analogue trauma. Questionnaires, a free recall task, and an eye-tracking measure assessed cognitive changes after exposure.Results: Regression analysis demonstrated that trait dissociation at pre-exposure to trauma significantly predicted DDP. Attention bias towards threat-related images was found. Results showed that DDP and poorer free recall predicted attention bias to threat images and higher levels of DDP actually predicted higher overall scores in the free recall task.Conclusions: This study showed that DDP is strongly linked to dissociative traits, and along with memory disintegration it may predict attention changes after exposure to a trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-657
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Issue number6
Early online date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2020


  • attentional bias
  • memory
  • PTSD
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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