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"Hotspots" refer to memories of detailed moments of peak emotional distress during a traumatic event. This study investigates hotspot frequency, and the emotions and cognitions contained in hotspots of memory for trauma, to replicate a previous study in this area (Holmes, Grey, & Young, 2005). Participants were patients receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at a specialist outpatient clinic after experiencing a range of traumatic events. The main finding was that, after fear, the most common emotions reported were anger and sadness. Cognitions related to psychological threat to the self were more common than those related to physical threat.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





788 - 796


Adult, Cognition, Emotions, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Trauma Centers