Fractionating the unitary notion of dissociation disembodied but not embodied dissociative

Braithwaite, Jason J, James, Kelly, Dewe, Hayley, Medford, Nick and Takahashi, Chie (2013) Fractionating the unitary notion of dissociation disembodied but not embodied dissociative. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7 (719). ISSN 1662-5161

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Abstract

It has been argued that hallucinations which appear to involve shifts in egocentric
perspective (e.g., the out-of-body experience, OBE) reflect specific biases in exocentric
perspective-taking processes. Via a newly devised perspective-taking task, we examined
whether such biases in perspective-taking were present in relation to specific dissociative
anomalous body experiences (ABE) – namely the OBE. Participants also completed
the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (CDS; Sierra and Berrios, 2000) which provided
measures of additional embodied ABE (unreality of self) and measures of derealization
(unreality of surroundings).There were no reliable differences in the level of ABE, emotional
numbing, and anomalies in sensory recall reported between the OBE and control group
as measured by the corresponding CDS subscales. In contrast, the OBE group did
provide significantly elevated measures of derealization (“alienation from surroundings”
CDS subscale) relative to the control group. At the same time we also found that the
OBE group was significantly more efficient at completing all aspects of the perspectivetaking
task relative to controls. Collectively, the current findings support fractionating
the typically unitary notion of dissociation by proposing a distinction between embodied
dissociative experiences and disembodied dissociative experiences – with only the latter
being associated with exocentric perspective-taking mechanisms. Our findings – obtained
with an ecologically valid task and a homogeneous OBE group – also call for a reevaluation
of the relationship between OBEs and perspective-taking in terms of facilitated
disembodied experiences.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Jonathan Williams
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 12:52
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2017 18:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56185

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