Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and slow wave sleep: A putative mechanism of action

Description

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is considered highly efficacious for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and has proved to be a valid treatment approach with a wide range of applications. However, EMDR’s mechanisms of action is not yet fully understood. This is an active area of clinical and neurophysiological research, and several different hypotheses have been proposed. This paper discusses a conjecture which focuses on the similarity between the delta waves recorded by electroencephalography during Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) and those registered upon typical EMDR bilateral stimulation (eye movements or alternate tapping) during recurrent distressing memories of an emotionally traumatic event. SWS appears to have a key role in memory consolidation and in the reorganization of distant functional networks, as well as Eye Movements seem to reduce traumatic episodic memory and favor the reconsolidation of new associated information. The SWS hypothesis may put forward an explanation of how EMDR works, and is discussed also in light of other theories and neurobiological findings.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Marco Pagani
Benedikt L. Amann
Ramon Landin-Romero
Sara Carletto

Original Work Citation

Pagani, M., Amann, B. L., Landin-Romero, R., & Carletto, S. (2017, November). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and slow wave sleep: A putative mechanism of action. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1935.  doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01935

Collection

Citation

“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and slow wave sleep: A putative mechanism of action,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24692.

Output Formats