Visual distortions and dissociation

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1999 Feb;187(2):109-12. doi: 10.1097/00005053-199902000-00007.


Visual distortions may be a frightening experience. They are often incorrectly diagnosed and easily dismissed. The causes of visual distortions are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between visual distortions and dissociative experiences in a nonclinical population. A total of 297 nonclinical volunteers completed the Dissociative Experience Scale and answered questions concerning visual distortions. Our study suggests that visual distortions are quite common and that there is a clear link between visual distortions and dissociative phenomena. Literature indicates that this may be caused by disturbances in brain lateralization. Bilateral language capacity may interfere with abilities usually associated with the nondominant hemisphere. Research efforts attempting to shed light on the above matter may benefit our knowledge for dissociative phenomena. An interdisciplinary approach is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perceptual Distortion*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Visual Perception*