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Physiologic correlates of culture-bound dissociation: A comparative study of Brazilian spiritist mediums and controls.
Transcult Psychiatry 2018; 55(2):286-313TP

Abstract

Mediumship and spirit possession are cultural phenomena found in many societies worldwide. In Brazil, Spiritism (a tradition in which mediumship is emphasized) is the third largest religious denomination. The present study aimed to investigate physiologic correlates of nonpathological dissociative experiences by comparing 20 female spiritist mediums with several years of socially sanctioned practice to 20 female nonmedium control subjects from the same religious context. We measured plasma levels of hormones and neuroactive substances, as well as vital signs and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters, before and immediately after spirit communication. Although no between-group differences were noted in basal physiological parameters, in response to the possession experiences the groups differed in heart rate and in plasma concentrations of noradrenaline, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, and creatine phosphokinase (CPK). The changes in parameters indicated an arousal response in mediums and a relaxation response in control participants, and the same pattern of changes was observed in HRV parameters from each group during the possession experiences. However, the changes in physiologic parameters for mediums were mild and of short duration: 1 hour after the possession experiences, no difference in cardiac autonomic regulation was noted. No significant group effect was noted for melatonin. Cognitive control processes may explain the arousal associated with the dissociative state. Findings from this study suggest that pathological and nonpathological dissociation may have different physiological correlates.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul.Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul.Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul.Hospital of the Armed Forces.Anhanguera-Uniderp University.Federal University of Juiz de Fora.

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29521578

Citation

Bastos, Marco Aurélio Vinhosa, et al. "Physiologic Correlates of Culture-bound Dissociation: a Comparative Study of Brazilian Spiritist Mediums and Controls." Transcultural Psychiatry, vol. 55, no. 2, 2018, pp. 286-313.
Bastos MAV, Bastos PRHO, Osório IHS, et al. Physiologic correlates of culture-bound dissociation: A comparative study of Brazilian spiritist mediums and controls. Transcult Psychiatry. 2018;55(2):286-313.
Bastos, M. A. V., Bastos, P. R. H. O., Osório, I. H. S., Pinheiro, S. A. M., Iandoli, D., & Lucchetti, G. (2018). Physiologic correlates of culture-bound dissociation: A comparative study of Brazilian spiritist mediums and controls. Transcultural Psychiatry, 55(2), pp. 286-313. doi:10.1177/1363461518759202.
Bastos MAV, et al. Physiologic Correlates of Culture-bound Dissociation: a Comparative Study of Brazilian Spiritist Mediums and Controls. Transcult Psychiatry. 2018;55(2):286-313. PubMed PMID: 29521578.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Physiologic correlates of culture-bound dissociation: A comparative study of Brazilian spiritist mediums and controls. AU - Bastos,Marco Aurélio Vinhosa,Jr AU - Bastos,Paulo Roberto Haidamus de Oliveira, AU - Osório,Igraíne Helena Scholz, AU - Pinheiro,Sérgio Augusto Monteiro, AU - Iandoli,Décio,Jr AU - Lucchetti,Giancarlo, Y1 - 2018/03/09/ PY - 2018/3/10/pubmed PY - 2018/11/10/medline PY - 2018/3/10/entrez KW - dissociation KW - heart rate variability KW - melatonin KW - noradrenaline KW - spirit mediumship KW - thyroid hormone SP - 286 EP - 313 JF - Transcultural psychiatry JO - Transcult Psychiatry VL - 55 IS - 2 N2 - Mediumship and spirit possession are cultural phenomena found in many societies worldwide. In Brazil, Spiritism (a tradition in which mediumship is emphasized) is the third largest religious denomination. The present study aimed to investigate physiologic correlates of nonpathological dissociative experiences by comparing 20 female spiritist mediums with several years of socially sanctioned practice to 20 female nonmedium control subjects from the same religious context. We measured plasma levels of hormones and neuroactive substances, as well as vital signs and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters, before and immediately after spirit communication. Although no between-group differences were noted in basal physiological parameters, in response to the possession experiences the groups differed in heart rate and in plasma concentrations of noradrenaline, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, and creatine phosphokinase (CPK). The changes in parameters indicated an arousal response in mediums and a relaxation response in control participants, and the same pattern of changes was observed in HRV parameters from each group during the possession experiences. However, the changes in physiologic parameters for mediums were mild and of short duration: 1 hour after the possession experiences, no difference in cardiac autonomic regulation was noted. No significant group effect was noted for melatonin. Cognitive control processes may explain the arousal associated with the dissociative state. Findings from this study suggest that pathological and nonpathological dissociation may have different physiological correlates. SN - 1461-7471 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29521578/Physiologic_correlates_of_culture-bound_dissociation:_A_comparative_study_of_Brazilian_spiritist_mediums_and_controls L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1363461518759202?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -