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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Examining the effect of spinal cord injury on emotional awareness, expressivity and memory for emotional material
Author(s): Deady, Denis K
North, Nigel T
Allan, David
Law Smith, Miriam J
O'Carroll, Ronan
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Keywords: spinal cord injury
Spinal cord Wounds and injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries nursing
Rehabilitation Nursing
Nurse-Patient Relations
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Date Deposited: 16-May-2011
Citation: Deady DK, North NT, Allan D, Law Smith MJ & O'Carroll R (2010) Examining the effect of spinal cord injury on emotional awareness, expressivity and memory for emotional material. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 15 (4), pp. 406-419.
Abstract: The prevailing view on the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) on emotion is that it dampens emotional experience due to a loss of peripheral bodily feedback, with the higher the lesion on the spinal cord the greater the reduction in the intensity of emotional experience. This view persists despite many studies showing an absence of such an emotional impairment in people with SCI. This study specifically aimed to investigate whether total cervical-6 spinal cord transection (i) reduces emotional expressivity and emotional awareness (ii) impairs memory for emotional material. The study contained 3 groups: 24 patients with SCI, 20 control patients with orthopaedic injury (OIC) and 20 young adult controls. A mixed factor design was employed to examine between group and within subject differences. Participants completed the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS), the Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire (BEQ), and viewed an emotionally arousing slide presentation. Thirty minutes post viewing, participants completed memory tests for the presentation. SCI patients reported greater present levels of emotional expressivity compared with perceived levels prior to their injury. SCI and OIC groups did not differ on any of the emotional awareness variables. There was also no evidence that SCI leads to impairment in memory for emotional events. This study’s findings contradict the mainstream view in the cognitive neuroscience of emotion that SCI dampens emotional experience.
DOI Link: 10.1080/13548506.2010.482138
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