Individuals exposed to traumatic events can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression, but also subclinical behavioral and emotional changes. Although persons exposed to trauma without PTSD show greater resilience, and are better at regulating emotions, with respect to trauma survivors with PTSD, they are anyway more prone to develop physical and psychological maladaptive changes to subsequent stressful experiences. Indeed, especially persons surviving to natural disasters, as earthquakes, can show complex patterns of non-psychopathological responses to traumatic experiences suggesting hypervigilance to signals of threat, and in particular to stimuli conveying self-relevant threatening information. Here, we review neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies uncovering the neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in these non-clinical psychological responses to natural disasters.
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