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Dissociative Syndromes

  • Carsten Spitzer
Chapter

Abstract

Dissociation can likewise be conceived as state (of consciousness), as personality trait in terms of a disposition to dissociate, as collective name for a heterogeneous group of psychopathological features as well as psychophysiological response to traumatic experiences or as defence mechanism. A neuropsychodynamic model of dissociation could be conceptualized as follows: An external or internal stimulus leads to neuronal activation patterns that manifest on the level of subjective experience as highly adverse and intense emotions. Due to the negative valence and the (hyper-)arousal, these affective states impede upon an adequate integration with cognitive and self-referential information by a ‘bottom-up’ hyperactivation of prefrontal areas which, in turn, inhibit top-down cortical-subcortical networks which are essential for memory functioning, (self-)consciousness and agency as well as body control. Dissociation results from a cortical-subcortical inhibition and serves to cope with both external traumatic stress as well as interpersonal and intrapsychic conflicts by means of a subjective decontextualization.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asklepios Fachklinikum TiefenbrunnRosdorfGermany

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