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Effects of state dissociation on objectively and subjectively assessed memory disturbances

By N. Buck, M. Kindt and M. van den Hout

Abstract

Dissociation often occurs after a traumatic experience and has detrimental effects on memory. If these supposed detrimental effects are the result of disturbances in information processing, not only subjectively assessed but also objectively assessed memory disturbances should be observed. Most studies assessing dissociation and memory in the context of trauma have studied trauma victims. However, this study takes a new approach in that the impact of experimentally induced state dissociation on memory is investigated in people with spider phobia. Note that the aim of the present study was not to test the effect of trauma on memory disturbances. We found indeed significant relations between state dissociation and subjectively assessed memory disturbances: intrusions and self-rated memory fragmentation. Moreover, although no relation was found between state dissociation and experimenter-rated memory fragmentation, we observed a relation between state dissociation and experimenterrated perceptual memory representations. These results show that state dissociation indeed has detrimental effects on the processing of aversive events

Publisher: 'Cambridge University Press (CUP)'
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1017/s1352465806002827
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Provided by: NARCIS
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