Dr Jason Braithwaite has been successful in being awarded a grant for £32,000 from the Bial Foundation to study the role of cortical suppression in those showing signs of depersonalization disorder and associated dissociative / hallucinatory experiences in the non-clinical population.

The study will involve the development of new stimuli and methods for objectively measuring behavioural and psychophysiological signs of increased suppression in the visual cortex, a factor which is thought to be related to the specific anomalous perceptions / hallucinations associated with the dissociative disorder of depersonalization. Perceptual and emotional components of these fascinating experiences will be explored to examine the sensitivity of the new methods to revealing the presence of neurocognitive biases predisposing some individuals to being vulnerable to the onset of such experiences.

measurements of event-related psychophysiology

As well as illuminating scientific theory, this research will provide new objective screening tools for assessing individual vulnerabilities in the psychopathological, clinical, and non-clinical populations. The project will begin in April 2013 and will seek to appoint a Part-time Research Assistant.