Almost 35 years ago the first functional brain imaging study in an individual with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was performed using positron emission tomography (PET). This study of the resting brain found hyperperfusion in the right temporal lobe (Mathew et al., 1985) a region that was also identified as a possible neurostructural biomarker for DID in the latest brain imaging study of the presenter (Reinders et al. 2019). The field of imaging neuroscience has developed rapidly, but studies into brain function and structure of pathological dissociation, such as DID, remain relatively scarce. This plenary will inform on how brain imaging is more that only fancy pictures. It will provide an overview of imaging research using the PET and fMRI techniques and will show how brain imaging can be used to aid the aetiology debate, but also clinically by aiding the diagnosis of DID. The presenter will also reflect on how brain imaging can aid DID and other disorders involving early traumatization and/or pathological dissociation.
Explain how objective brain imaging data can inform the debate on the aetiology of DID
Describe how structural brain imaging can aid an earlier diagnosis and therefore has clinical relevance
Evaluate the evidence for biomarkers for pathological dissociation