Effect of ocular movements during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: A near-infrared spectroscopy study

Description

Introduction: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic treatment resolving emotional distress caused by traumatic events. With EMDR, information processing is facilitated by eye movements (EM) during the recall of a traumatic memory (RECALL). The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of ocular movements of EMDR on the hemodynamics of the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Material and Methods: Two groups were recruited: a trial group (wEM) received a complete EMDR treatment, whereas a control group (woEM) received a therapy without EM. PFC hemodynamics was monitored by near-infrared spectroscopy during RECALL and during focusing on the worst image of the trauma (pre-RECALL). The parameters of oxy- (oxy-Hb), and deoxy-hemoglobin (deoxy-Hb) were acquired and analyzed in time domain, by calculating the slope within pre-RECALL and RECALL periods, and in the frequency domain, by calculating the mean power of oxy-Hb and deoxy-Hb in the very-low frequency (VLF, 20-40 mHz) and low frequency (LF, 40-140 mHz) bandwidths. We compared pre-RECALL with RECALL periods within subjects, and pre-RECALL and RECALL parameters of wEM with the corresponding of woEM.

Results: An effect of group on mean slope of oxy-Hb and deoxy-Hb in pre-RECALL and oxy-Hb in RECALL periods was observed. wEM showed a lower percentage of positive angular coefficients during pre-RECALL with respect to RECALL, on the opposite of woEM. In the frequency domain, wEM had significant difference in oxy-Hb and deoxy-Hb LF of left hemisphere, whereas woEM showed no difference. Discussion and Conclusion: We observed the effect of EM on PFC oxygenation during EMDR, since wEM subjects showed a mean increase of oxy-Hb during RECALL and a decrease during pre-RECALL, as opposed to woEM. Frequency analysis evidenced a reduction of activity of sympathetic nervous system in wEM group during pre-RECALL. Our outcomes revealed a different hemodynamics induced by eye movements in wEM with respect to woEM group..

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Daniele Rimini
Filippo Molinari
William Liboni
Marina Balbo
Roberta Daro
Erika Viotti
Isabel Fernandez

Original Work Citation

Rimini, D., Molinari, F., Liboni, W., Balbo, M. Daro,R., Viotti, E., & Fernandez, I. (2016, October). Effect of ocular movements during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: A near-infrared spectroscopy study.  PlusOne, 11(10), e0164379 1-15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164379

Collection

Citation

“Effect of ocular movements during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: A near-infrared spectroscopy study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24127.

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