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Voluntary switching between identities in dissociative identity disorder: A functional MRI case study.

Authors
  • Savoy, R L1
  • Frederick, B B
  • Keuroghlian, A S
  • Wolk, P C
  • 1 a HyperVision, Inc. , Lexington , MA , USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cognitive neuroscience
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Volume
3
Issue
2
Pages
112–119
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2012.669750
PMID: 24168692
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Patients who suffer from dissociative identity disorder present unique scientific and clinical challenges for psychology and psychiatry. We have been fortunate in working with a patient who-while undergoing functional MRI-can switch rapidly and voluntarily between her main personality (a middle-aged, high-functioning woman) and an alternate personality (a 4-6-year-old girl). A unique task was designed to isolate the processes occurring during the switches between these personalities. Data are from two imaging sessions, conducted months apart, each showing the same activated areas during switches between these personalities. The activated areas include the following: the primary sensory and motor cortex, likely associated with characteristic facial movements made during switching; the nucleus accumbens bilaterally, possibly associated with aspects of reward connected with switching; and prefrontal sites, presumably associated with the executive control involved in the switching of personalities.

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