Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 23
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Boeckle, Markus Liegl, Gregor Jank, Robert and Pieh, Christoph 2016. Neural correlates of conversion disorder: overview and meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies on motor conversion disorder. BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 16, Issue. 1,

    Chiu, Chui-De Paesen, Leo Dziobek, Isabel and Tollenaar, Marieke S. 2016. Weakened Cognitive Empathy in Individuals with Dissociation Proneness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 35, Issue. 5, p. 425.

    McKinnon, Margaret C. Boyd, Jenna E. Frewen, Paul A. Lanius, Ulrich F. Jetly, Rakesh Richardson, J. Donald and Lanius, Ruth A. 2016. A review of the relation between dissociation, memory, executive functioning and social cognition in military members and civilians with neuropsychiatric conditions. Neuropsychologia,

    Reinders, Antje A.T.S. Willemsen, Antoon T.M. Vissia, Eline M. Vos, Herry P.J. den Boer, Johan A. and Nijenhuis, Ellert R.S. 2016. The Psychobiology of Authentic and Simulated Dissociative Personality States. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 204, Issue. 6, p. 445.

    Río-Casanova, Lucía del González, Anabel Páramo, Mario and Brenlla, Julio 2016. Excitatory and inhibitory conversive experiences: neurobiological features involving positive and negative conversion symptoms. Reviews in the Neurosciences, Vol. 27, Issue. 1,

    Maldonado, José R. and Spiegel, David 2015. Psychiatry.

    Tian, Fenghua Yennu, Amarnath Smith-Osborne, Alexa Gonzalez-Lima, F. North, Carol S. and Liu, Hanli 2014. Prefrontal responses to digit span memory phases in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A functional near infrared spectroscopy study. NeuroImage: Clinical, Vol. 4, p. 808.

    Boysen, Guy A. and VanBergen, Alexandra 2013. A Review of Published Research on Adult Dissociative Identity Disorder. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 201, Issue. 1, p. 5.

    Brewin, Chris R. Ma, Belinda Y.T. and Colson, Jessica 2013. Effects of experimentally induced dissociation on attention and memory. Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 315.

    Nardo, D. Högberg, G. Lanius, R. A. Jacobsson, H. Jonsson, C. Hällström, T. and Pagani, M. 2013. Gray matter volume alterations related to trait dissociation in PTSD and traumatized controls. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 128, Issue. 3, p. 222.

    Weniger, Godehard Siemerkus, Jakob Barke, Antonia Lange, Claudia Ruhleder, Mirjana Sachsse, Ulrich Schmidt-Samoa, Carsten Dechent, Peter and Irle, Eva 2013. Egocentric virtual maze learning in adult survivors of childhood abuse with dissociative disorders: Evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Vol. 212, Issue. 2, p. 116.

    Chiu, Chui-De Yeh, Yei-Yu Ross, Colin A. Lin, Sheng-Feng Huang, Wan-Ting and Hwu, Hai-Gwo 2012. Recovered memory experience in a nonclinical sample is associated with dissociation rather than with aversive experiences. Psychiatry Research, Vol. 197, Issue. 3, p. 265.

    Krause-Utz, A. Oei, N. Y. L. Niedtfeld, I. Bohus, M. Spinhoven, P. Schmahl, C. and Elzinga, B. M. 2012. Influence of emotional distraction on working memory performance in borderline personality disorder. Psychological Medicine, Vol. 42, Issue. 10, p. 2181.

    Thomson, Paula and Jaque, S. Victoria 2012. Dissociation and the Adult Attachment Interview in artists and performing artists. Attachment & Human Development, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 145.

    Colzato, Lorenza S. Van der Does, A.J. Willem Kouwenhoven, Coen Elzinga, Bernet M. and Hommel, Bernhard 2011. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with higher anticipatory cortisol stress response, anxiety, and alcohol consumption in healthy adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 36, Issue. 10, p. 1562.

    Colzato, Lorenza S. Huizinga, Mariëtte and Hommel, Bernhard 2009. Recreational cocaine polydrug use impairs cognitive flexibility but not working memory. Psychopharmacology, Vol. 207, Issue. 2, p. 225.

    Colzato, Lorenza Serena van den Wildenberg, Wery P. M. van Wouwe, Nelleke C. Pannebakker, Merel M. and Hommel, Bernhard 2009. Dopamine and inhibitory action control: evidence from spontaneous eye blink rates. Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 196, Issue. 3, p. 467.

    Haaland, V. Ø. and Landrø, N. I. 2009. Pathological dissociation and neuropsychological functioning in borderline personality disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 119, Issue. 5, p. 383.

    Amrhein, Christine Hengmith, Simone Maragkos, Markos and Hennig-Fast, Kristina 2008. Neuropsychological Characteristics of Highly Dissociative Healthy Individuals. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 525.

    DePrince, Anne P. Weinzierl, Kristin M. and Combs, Melody D. 2008. Stroop Performance, Dissociation, and Trauma Exposure in a Community Sample of Children. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Vol. 9, Issue. 2, p. 209.


Neural correlates of enhanced working-memory performance in dissociative disorder: a functional MRI study

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2006

Background. Memory functioning has been highlighted as a central issue in pathological dissociation. In non-pathological dissociation, evidence for enhanced working memory has been found, together with greater task-load related activity. So far, no imaging studies have investigated working memory in dissociative patients.

Method. To assess working memory in dissociative patients functional magnetic resonance imaging was used during performance of a parametric, verbal working-memory task in patients with a dissociative disorder (n=16) and healthy controls (n=16).

Results. Imaging data showed that both groups activated brain regions typically involved in working memory, i.e. anterior, dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), and parietal cortex. Dissociative patients showed more activation in these areas, particularly in the left anterior PFC, dorsolateral PFC and parietal cortex. In line with these findings, patients made fewer errors with increasing task load compared to controls, despite the fact that they felt more anxious and less concentrated during task performance.

Conclusions. These results extend findings in non-pathological high dissociative individuals, suggesting that trait dissociation is associated with enhanced working-memory capacities. This may distinguish dissociative patients from patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, who are generally characterized by impaired working memory.

Corresponding author
Section Clinical and Health Psychology, University Leiden, PO Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands. (Email:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *