Effect of bilateral eye movements on frontal interhemispheric gamma EEG coherence: implications for EMDR therapy

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007 Sep;195(9):785-8. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318142cf73.


The use of bilateral eye movements (EMs) is an important component of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. The neural mechanisms underlying EMDR remain unclear. However, prior behavioral work looking at the effects of bilateral EMs on the retrieval of episodic memories suggests that the EMs enhance interhemispheric interaction. The present study examined the effects of the EMs used in EMDR on interhemispheric electroencephalogram coherence. Relative to noneye-movement controls, engaging in bilateral EMs led to decreased interhemispheric gamma electroencephalogram coherence. Implications for future work on EMDR and episodic memory are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods*
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Eyelids / physiology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Saccades / physiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / nursing*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Treatment Outcome