Mechanistic Interventions of Neuroscience of Dissociation (MIND) Study
PI: Negar Fani, PhD
mindlogo.png

Background

Trauma can have devastating effects on the brain and body. Under stress, some trauma-exposed people experience dissociation, a term that describes feelings of detachment from the body and/or environment. Mind-body practices that involve present-centeredness and body awareness may be of value for people who experience dissociation. These practices are designed to help with attentional control and body awareness—addressing these problems can improve overall emotion regulation. However, we know little about how these treatments work, and ways in which we can use biofeedback technology to guide these practices. Our goal is to evaluate the brain mechanisms through which mind-body practices may help increase present-centeredness and body awareness in people who experience dissociation.

What is the goal of this study?

 

The purpose of this study is to understand how different mind-body interventions, including mindfulness practices with biofeedback, may change patterns of brain activity in people who have experienced trauma. These interventions are designed to help you stay focused and feel more connected with your body. Feelings of body disconnection and problems focusing are common in people who have experienced trauma, including people who have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

What does the intervention look like?

 

You will be randomized to one of four intervention conditions. During this study, you will complete 8 intervention sessions that last approximately 18 minutes. For each intervention session, you will sit in a chair in a sound-proof booth monitored by a researcher in front of a computer screen (which delivers instructions) and will be fitted with psychophysiology leads and a device strapped around the chest.

 

MIND.png

What are we measuring and how?

 

Before and after the entire intervention, we will collect several types of data:

 

  • Clinical: you will complete 2 clinical interviews with a clinician asking about the trauma and other physical and psychological symptoms. During each intervention session, you will complete short questionnaires as well as a few computer tasks (only during first and last intervention sessions).

 

  • Brain imaging: you will complete 2 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans before and after 8 intervention sessions. While in the scanner, you will complete an attention task and a breathing task.

 

  • Psychophysiological: Skin conductance, heart rate, and respiration will be measured during each intervention study.

 

Who are our participants?

 

If you are an adult between the ages 18-65 who has experienced a traumatic event and experience feelings of detachment from your body or surroundings, you may be eligible to participate in our study. If you are interested, please complete this short survey by clicking here. If eligible, you will be contacted shortly by one of our team members.

We are registered on ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT# 04670640. You can also reach us by emailing: gtpaffectneurolab@emory.edu or calling (404) 778-5767