Evolving concepts of human state dissociation.

M. W. Mahowald, C. H. Schenck


The concept of state dissociation in humans was made possible only by applying information obtained from basic science animal research studies to the human condition--without which these often dramatic, and treatable conditions would have remained in the mystical, supra-natural, or psychiatric arenas, without appropriate or effective treatment options. Sleep or wakefulness occurring asynchronously in bits and pieces of the brain is a most useful concept. From our standpoint, the basic science work in the function and mechanism of sleep is pertinent, not only adding to our knowledge in these important areas for the sake of knowledge, but also in providing clinicians with important information that is of immense clinical importance. The payoff of such research has been great, and demands that it should be ongoing. The field of sleep research and sleep medicine is in a unique position to foster close interactions between basic scientists and clinicians, the result being basic science answers to clinical questions, and unanswered clinical questions guiding the direction of and reinforcing the basic science research. The clinical conditions discussed above underscore the value of close cooperation among those working at all levels: molecular, cellular, multi-cellular, and clinical. Continued study of state dissociation by both basic scientists and clinicians will undoubtedly identify and explain even more of these fascinating conditions, with important therapeutic implications. The reciprocal benefits of close collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians will continue to be realized.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4449/aib.v139i3.504


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