Intrusive memories are those that spring to mind unbidden, e.g. sensory recollections of stressful/traumatic events. We review recent methods to monitor intrusions of a stressor (a trauma film) within the laboratory.
Recent studies suggest three main methodologies after viewing a trauma film by which to monitor intrusions in the laboratory: during post-film rest periods, after exposure to trigger cues, and while performing an ongoing task. These approaches allow factors to be tested (e.g. psychological or pharmacological) that may influence the frequency of occurrence of intrusions.
We raise methodological considerations to guide trauma film studies using intrusion monitoring in the laboratory to complement monitoring approaches in daily life (e.g. diaries). Intrusion monitoring in the laboratory also confers greater experimental control and may open novel research avenues, to advance intervention development to mitigate problematic intrusive memory symptoms.