Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1732-1737 (2011)

Previous research has indicated an increase in stress levels and cognitive intrusions after natural disasters. These previous studies have not, however, assessed the impact disaster induced cognitive disruption has on human performance. In the present report, we investigated the impact of the 7.1 magnitude 2010 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake on self-reported earthquake-induced cognitive disruption and its relationship to performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Task . Participants who self-reported greater cognitive disruption induced by the earthquake also had higher levels of errors of commission during SART . This was even the case when controlling for earthquake-induced anxiety, depression, participant sex, and self-reported sleep amount. Post-disaster assessments need to include the impact of the events directly on cognitive self-regulation and conscious thoughts, in addition to more clinical constructs, such as anxiety and depression
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2011.02.011
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