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Visual Distortions and Dissociation

LIPSANEN, TAPIO M.D.1; LAUERMA, HANNU M.Sc.D.1,2; PELTOLA, PÄIVI M.Sc.3; KALLIO, SAKARI M.Sc.3

The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: February 1999 - Volume 187 - Issue 2 - p 109-112
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Visual distortions may be a frightening experience. They are often incorrectly diagnosed and easily dismissed. The causes of visual distortions are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between visual distortions and dissociative experiences in a nonclinical population. A total of 297 nonclinical volunteers completed the Dissociative Experience Scale and answered questions concerning visual distortions. Our study suggests that visual distortions are quite common and that there is a clear link between visual distortions and dissociative phenomena. Literature indicates that this may be caused by disturbances in brain lateralization. Bilateral language capacity may interfere with abilities usually associated with the nondominant hemisphere. Research efforts attempting to shed light on the above matter may benefit our knowledge for dissociative phenomena. An interdisciplinary approach is needed.

1 Department of Psychiatry, Turku University Central Hospital, Kiinanmyllynkatu 4-8, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland. Send reprint requests to: Dr. Lipsanen, Mental Health Clinic of Pori, Isolinnan Katu 28, FIN-28100 Pori, Finland.

2 Mental Hospital for Prisoners, P.O. Box 49, FIN-20251 Turku, Finland.

3 Department of Psychology/Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 14-18 B, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.