Verbal and nonverbal memory functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2006 Aug;28(6):940-8. doi: 10.1080/13803390591004347.


Although there is evidence for memory impairment in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it remains unclear whether memory impairment is confined to verbal material or whether memory for nonverbal material is also affected. We examined verbal and nonverbal memory for free recall and recognition in 40 patients with PTSD and 40 healthy controls. Analyses showed that patients with PTSD displayed attenuated memory performance for both short- and long-term recall, which was not further moderated by type of material. The influence of attention, verbal intelligence, and depression was investigated. Our findings suggest that both verbal and nonverbal memory are compromised in PTSD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology*
  • Verbal Learning / physiology*