A neural correlate for common trait dissociation: Decreased EEG connectivity is related to dissociative absorption Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: Dissociation refers to a disintegration between psychological elements; common manifestations are embodied in "absorption and imaginative involvement", a propensity for being immersed in a stimulus while oblivious to the environment, and acting without awareness. Trait dissociation was hypothesized to relate to lower EEG signal connectivity, but studies on healthy populations are scarce. The present study set out to examine whether dissociative absorption in a non-clinical sample will be associated with decreased intra-hemispheric coherence. Method: In 84 healthy Israeli soldiers (49% females, mean age 22.24, SD=2.64) resting-state electroencephalography (rsEEG) was recorded for a period of three minutes with eyes closed and three minutes with eyes open. Results: Decreased coherence was related to high dissociative absorption in the long (frontal-occipital) range, and in one of the pairs of the short range (central-parietal). The effects emerged mostly in the left hemisphere, in both eyes open and eyes closed conditions, and for a range of spectral bands, although long-range effects were more pronounced in slow-wave bands (Theta and Delta). Conclusions: Dissociative absorption is manifested in segregated cortical activity, supporting the notion that it may represent less integrated mental functioning. The findings contribute to our understanding of the neural correlates of consciousness and personality. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • April 6, 2018