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Survivors of organized violence

Survivors of organized violence
A series of studies, conducted by a psychotraumatology research group headed by Thomas Elbert in collaboration with Penn State psychology expert William Ray, has examined a group of people who have been exposed to different magnitudes of torture and found the appearance of dissociation (mental separation from the incident) long after the event. The research is reported in the latest issue of Psychological Science.

Those who experienced multiple and extreme trauma stopped responding physiologically and began to feel numb. The scientists think that, just as the body can turn off some of its stress response during feelings of great terror or helplessness, the mind has a way of turning off strong emotions in overwhelming situations.

The research group examined the functional architecture of the brain in relation to varying degrees of dissociation. They found that dissociative experiences are reflected in slow, abnormal brainwaves in an area that contributes to verbalizing and the ability to plan and prepare for actions.

Observation of structural or functional brain lesions has led the authors to interpret their findings as a sign of the brain decoupling these regions from sensory experience and action. They believe this is the only response that seems possible during serious torture but note that, when maintained during the later part of life, the long-term consequences are devastating. This brain reorganization is maintained even when the torture is over.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
A series of studies, conducted by a psychotraumatology research group headed by Thomas Elbert in collaboration with Penn State psychology expert William Ray, has examined a group of people who have been exposed to different magnitudes of torture and found the appearance of dissociation (mental separation from the incident) long after the event. The research is reported in the latest issue of Psychological Science.

Medicineworld.org: Survivors of organized violence

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