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Ruminative type symptoms are seen in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) under the general header of negative alterations in cognition and mood. These symptoms include pervasive negative beliefs about oneself or the world, such as feelings of self-blame and guilt, which often coincide with distorted beliefs about the traumatic event that led to the development of PTSD (APA, 2013).
The brain regions involved in rumination were recently examined in a structural brain imaging study. Qiao and colleagues (2013) assessed sensitivity to trauma (measured as negative life events) in healthy adolescents and found that larger grey matter brain volume in the left inferior frontal gyrus positively correlated with increased sensitivity to trauma. Additionally, increased rumination was associated with larger grey matter volume in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). Further analyses indicated that rumination and the VLPFC mediated the effect of sensitivity to trauma. The authors suggested that increased brain volume in the VLPFC may be related to an inclination towards increased rumination, which could lead to increased sensitivity to trauma.
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