American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has created a new generation of veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has repeatedly been noted that these returning veterans have a particularly difficult time reconnecting with family and friends. Because of these findings, the impact of multiple deployments and prolonged combat exposure is shifting from the individual veteran to its effects on their ability to reestablish intimate relationships after the completion of their service.
Over the last 20 years, numerous studies have directly observed the firing of the same neurons of non-human primates while seeing a member of their species engaging in the behavior themselves. Cortical activity consistent with these findings has been subsequently discovered in the human brain. Some researchers have hypothesized that these neurons, referred to as mirror neurons, form one of the physiological underpinnings of interpersonal attunement and empathy. The present study will explore the possibility that mirror neuron dysfunction secondary to trauma may play a role in the etiology of relationship dysfunction in PTSD.
This study will first review the current research on mirror neurons and the neural systems they support with a particular focus on those systems involved in attunement, empathy, and affect regulation. Next, the impact of traumatic experiences on these systems will be explored. Finally, we will examine the possibility that mirror neuron dysfunction is a mechanism of action in the social dysfunction found in PTSD.
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Clinical psychology, Neurosciences, Mental health, Military studies, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Mirror neurons, Relational dysfunction, PTSD, Iraq , Afghanistan , American military involvement|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be