Experimental induction of peritraumatic dissociation: The role of negative affect and pain and their psychophysiological and neural correlates

Danböck, Sarah K. ; Franke, Laila Katharina ; Miedl, Stephan Franz ; Liedlgruber, Michael ; Bürkner, Paul-Christian ; Wilhelm, Frank H.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2023.104289
URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
Additional URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/369153291...
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-652819
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2023
The title of a journal, publication series: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Volume: 164
Issue number: 5, Article 104289
Page range: 1-10
Place of publication: Amsterdam [u.a.]
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISSN: 0005-7967 , 1873-622X
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Klinische u. Biologische Psychologie u. Psychotherapie (Alpers 2010-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Keywords (English): dissociation , negative-affect , pain , psychophysiology , fMRI , trauma film
Abstract: While research has elucidated processes underlying dissociative symptoms in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder, little is known about the circumstances under which trauma-related dissociation initially arises. To experimentally investigate causes and concomitants of peritraumatic dissociation, we subjected sixty-nine healthy women to aversive-audiovisual and painful-electrical stimulation in a 2(aversive/neutral film) x 2(pain/no pain) within-subject design while recording psychophysiological and fMRI-BOLD responses. Afterwards, participants rated negative-affect, pain, and dissociation for each condition. Using Bayesian multilevel regression models, we examined (1) whether aversive-audiovisual and painful-electrical stimulation elicit higher dissociation-levels than control conditions and (2) whether stronger negative-affect and pain responses (operationalized via self-report, psychophysiological, and neural markers) correlate with higher dissociation-levels. Several key findings emerged: Both aversive-audiovisual and painful-electrical stimulation elicited dissociation. Dissociation was linked to higher self-reported negative-affect, but we did not find enough evidence linking it to psychophysiological and neural negative-affect markers. However, dissociation was associated with higher levels of self-reported pain, a skin-conductance-response-based pain marker, and the fMRI-BOLD-based Neurologic-Pain-Signature. Results indicate that both aversive-audiovisual and painful stimuli can independently cause dissociation. Critically, pain responses captured via self-report, psychophysiological, and neural markers were consistently linked to higher dissociation-levels suggesting a specific, evolutionary meaningful, contribution of pain to the rise of dissociation.

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