The brain network of body awareness: An experimental study exploring neural markers of dissociation

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Abstract

Background: Dissociation, e.g. out-of-body experiences (OBE) during a traumatic event, can be a risk factor for the pathogenesis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the neural basis of physical self-alienation is still not well understood. Experimental neuroscience and lesion studies suggest that impaired brain function in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ), a critical hub for multisensory integration, is associated with dissociative body experiences.

Method: In a randomized-controlled fMRI study, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to investigate how a temporary inhibition of the TPJ 1) dissociative experience and 2) the brain network of body awareness in healthy (n = 26) and trauma-exposed (n = 26) participants influenced. First, we test a paradigm for manipulating bodily self-awareness. Furthermore, TMS-induced changes in functional connectivity patterns between relevant brain regions are investigated.

Results: A virtual lesion at the TPJ is expected to increase dissociative sensations and OBEs and disrupt the brain network of body awareness. It is also assumed that individuals with early childhood trauma show a higher susceptibility to experimentally induced OBEs.

Conclusion: While existing neurobiological models of dissociation focus on frontolimbic dysfunction, research into dissociative body experiences, conceptualized as a weakened integration performance of the TPJ, can provide valuable insights.
Translated title of the contributionThe brain network of body awareness: An experimental study exploring neural markers of dissociation
Original languageGerman
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2020
EventAnnual Meeting of the Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft für Psychotraumatologie (DeGPT) - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 13-Feb-202015-Feb-2020
http://jahrestagungdegpt.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Programm_2020.pdf

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft für Psychotraumatologie (DeGPT)
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period13/02/202015/02/2020
Internet address

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