Trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s
memory . . .
. . . and traumatic memory can affect not only the brain, but also the body and nervous system as well.
But conceptualizing how trauma can impact the different types of memory can be challenging, so we created a free tool for practitioners that breaks down this process.
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- Semantic Memory
How Trauma Can Affect It Trauma can prevent information (like words, images, sounds, etc.) from different parts of the brain from combining to make a semantic memory.
Related Brain Area The temporal lobe and inferior parietal cortex collect information from different brain areas to create semantic memory.
- Episodic Memory
How Trauma Can Affect It Trauma can shutdown episodic memory and fragment the sequence of events
Related Brain Area The hippocampus is responsible for creating and recalling episodic memory.
- Procedural Memory
How Trauma Can Affect It Trauma can change patterns of procedural memory for example, a person might tense up and unconsciously alter their posture, which could lead to pain or even numbness.
Related Brain Area The striatum is associated with producing procedural memory and creating new habits.
- Emotional Memory
How Trauma Can Affect It after trauma, a person may get triggered and experience painful emotions, often without context.
Related Brain Area The amygdala plays a key role in supporting memory for emotionally charged experiences.
If you’d like to print a copy, you can use one of these links:
You can hear more about how trauma affects the brain, body, and nervous system in the Treating Trauma Master Series.
You’ll get insights from Bessel van der Kolk, MD; Pat Ogden, PhD; Dan Siegel, MD; Stephen Porges, PhD; and Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD.
Now we’d like to hear from you. How could this help you in your work? Please leave a comment below.