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Open Access Present and Accounted For: Sensory Stimulation and Parietal Neuroplasticity

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There are commonalities between neurologic syndromes arising from lesions of the parietal cortex and psychiatric syndromes secondary to psychological trauma. Additionally some posttraumatic syndromes may reflect functional disruption of parietal areas. Directional or bilateral alternating peripheral sensory stimulation appear to assist in the amelioration of a wide range of clinical conditions, including the neglect syndrome and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. It is posited that the stimulation may exert its effect through activation of parietal higher-order functions. The activation may result in an integration of sensory information and an updating of the current representation of person and space, which incorporates an awareness of current body reality, sense of self, and world view. It is hypothesized that the EMDR procedure is ideally constructed to facilitate parietal activation through multimodal sensory stimulation, attention and episodic memory retrieval and focus on internal and external body, space, and self. Further investigations and an integration of data between disciplines are suggested, in order to expand our range of effective treatments.

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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 February 2009

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  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.
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