Transfer of newly acquired stimulus valence between identities in dissociative identity disorder (DID).

R.J.C. Huntjens*, M.L. Peters, A. Postma, L. Woertman, M. Effting, O. van der Hart

*Corresponding author for this work

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Patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) frequently report episodes of interidentity amnesia, that is amnesia for events experienced by other identities. The goal of the present experiment was to test the implicit transfer of trauma-related information between identities in DID. We hypothesized that whereas declarative information may transfer from one identity to another, the emotional connotation of the memory may be dissociated, especially in the case of negative, trauma-related emotional valence. An evaluative conditioning procedure was combined with an affective priming procedure, both performed by different identities. In the evaluative conditioning procedure, previously neutral stimuli come to refer to a negative or positive connotation. The affective priming procedure was used to test the transfer of this acquired valence to an identity reporting interidentity amnesia. Results indicated activation of stimulus valence in the affective priming task, that is transfer of emotional material between identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-255
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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