Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & TreatmentISSN: 2324-8947

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Research Article, J Trauma Stress Disor Treat Vol: 5 Issue: 3

Learning the Rubber Hand Illusion: Implications for Dissociative PTSD Patients

Lilac Lev-Ari1* and Shmuel Hirschmann2
1Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer, Israel
2Sha’ar Menashe Mental Health Center Hadera, affiliated with the Technion Institute of Technology, Israel
Corresponding author : Lilac Lev-Ari
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer, 40250, Israel
Tel: 972-52-8632434
Received: August 01, 2016 Accepted: August 24, 2016 Published: August 31, 2016
Citation: Lev-Ari L, Hirschmann S (2016) Learning the Rubber Hand Illusion: Implications for Dissociative PTSD Patients. J Trauma Stress Disor Treat 5:3. doi:10.4172/2324-8947.1000161


The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) elicits the internalization of an external stimulus. To date, the RHI has been used to better understand body ownership in healthy controls and in specific pathologies, but has not yet been assessed in dissociative PTSD (d-PTSD) patients. Moreover, most studies having utilized a one trial experimental paradigm, did not follow the learning process of the RHI. The aim of this study was to assess the learning process of the RHI in d-PTSD patients, as compared to schizophrenia patients (SZs) and to healthy controls. Nineteen d-PTSD patients, 30 schizophrenia inpatients and 30 healthy controls underwent five different trials of the RHI over a two-week period. Significant interactions between group and trial emerged for start time and for illusion strength. D-PTSD patients showed an initial faster and more intense reaction to the illusion, compared to both other groups. However, throughout the learning process when no traumatic feelings arose, they corrected themselves and resembled the healthy controls. These findings might represent inappropriate activation and deactivation of both the Task Positive Network and the Default Mode Network in d-PTSD patients and may shed important light on neural functioning in d-PTSD patients.

Keywords: Rubber hand illusion; Dissociative PTSD patients; Default mode network; Task positive network; Schizophrenia

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