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A bunch of scientific articles on physical differences between system members.

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I posted this slew of stuff on my tulpamancy tumblr and on the tulpamancy subreddit a while ago, and only now did it occur to me to post it here as well. Thought people might find them interesting or be able to put them to use as ammunition against "lel plurality don't real" people. All of these studies refer to supposed DID systems, though I can't say if they really fit DID or were misdiagnosed functional systems.


First thread I posted...




This came up in another thread, and I thought I might as well post it out here for others to read. A good deal of this will be copied from my blog.


The article in question:


We present a patient with dissociative identity disorder (DID) who after 15 years of diagnosed cortical blindness gradually regained sight during psychotherapeutic treatment. At first only a few personality states regained vision, whereas others remained blind. This was confirmed by electrophysiological measurement, in which visual evoked potentials (VEP) were absent in the blind personality states but normal and stable in the seeing states.


Translation for those who don’t know scientific jargon—a multiple system had a form of blindness where the eyes are perfectly healthy and functional, but the brain is damaged in such a way that it cannot interpret the eyes’ input. This form of blindness can be overcome through psychotherapy, which this system received. Upon undergoing therapy, however, a very interesting thing occurred—several members of the system regained sight, while several others remained blind. This was confirmed when researchers measured the brain’s electrical signals while different systemmates were in front, and found that while the sighted members were in front, the brain produced signals corresponding to sight; however, when the blind members were in front, the brain did not produce those signals. (In case it isn't clear, by "personality states" they mean system members--I'm aware that the terminology is troublesome, but it is what it is.)


Thank you, Connor, for showing me this article in the first place. I remembered it today when someone accused a multiple of lying because they said their systemmates had different physiological states when they were in the body—one member possessed stronger eyesight than another, for instance. This accusation rather incensed me (to be fair, the multiple being accused had been extremely dismissive of tulpamancy, so they were hardly innocent themselves), so I found this article and linked it several times in the thread as proof that what they were describing is, in fact, well within the range of possibility.


I hope this article provides some food for thought. In the context of this article, I would like to ask that all people on the plurality spectrum--and non-plurals too--keep in mind two things:


  • That even if someone is extremely offensive, that does not automatically invalidate their own experiences, especially if those experiences are shared by many innocent others.
  • That the human brain is far more complex and marvelous than any of us can even begin to comprehend.

Remember the allegory of the blind men and the elephant. If we have different experiences, that does not mean one of us is the lesser of the other, or that one of us is “right” and all others are “wrong”. (I direct that last statement in particular to the multiple who made that thread.) It means that we have each reached out and touched different parts of an incredibly vast phenomena. It is an occasion to share what we know, not come to blows over our differences.


Thank you for reading.




And the second...




This came up in a discussion with someone in another thread, and I thought I should post my links in their own thread as well, as a sort of follow-up to this thread.


For example, case reports have described people who have changed their handedness or have spoken foreign languages during their dissociative states.


When Timmy drinks orange juice he has no problem. But Timmy is just one of close to a dozen personalities who alternate control over a patient with multiple personality disorder. And if those other personalities drink orange juice, the result is a case of hives.


The hives will occur even if Timmy drinks orange juice and another personality appears while the juice is still being digested. What's more, if Timmy comes back while the allergic reaction is present, the itching of the hives will cease immediately, and the water-filled blisters will begin to subside.


One of the problems for psychiatrists trying to treat patients with multiple personalties is that, depending which personality is in control, a patient can have drastically different reactions to a given psychiatric medication. For instance, it is almost always the case that one or several of the personalities of a given patient will be that of a child. And the differences in responses to drugs among the sub-personalities often parallel those ordinarily found when the same drug at the same dose is given to a child, rather than an adult.


In a recent book, ''The Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder,'' published by the American Psychiatric Press, Dr. Braun describes several instances in which different personalities in the same body responded differently to a given dose of the same medication. A tranquilizer, for instance, made a childish personality of one patient sleepy and relaxed, but gave adult personalities confusion and racing thoughts. An anti-convulsant prescribed for epilepsy that was given another patient had no effect on the personalities except those under the age of 12.


In another patient, 5 milligrams of diazepam, a tranquilizer, sedated one personality, while 100 milligrams had little effect on another personality.;%20an%20Alternative%20Theory.pdf (This one is a bit meta but it does quote some interesting studies)


An especially interesting study was recently done by neuropsychologist Joseph Ciociari at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. The study took five patients with DID and five age matched professional actors and asked them to do simple cognitive tests while using EEG to monitor their brainwaves.


In the course of this monitoring, the actors performed the tasks as themselves and then as a series of pretended personalities. The brain waves of the DID patients’ host personalities (the core personalities) were monitored and then the alternate personalities, or ‘alters’ were invited to ‘come out’ and participate in the tasks and were also monitored. The Swinburne Media release stated that:


Swinburne has shown clearly different brain patterns between the Dissociative Identity Disorder host and each personality or alter, a finding that could not be reproduced by professional actors emulating the child alters. Previous EEG studies into the disorder observed the results at individual brain locations. This latest study used and compared the EEG signal parameters between different areas; i.e. it applied EEG coherence analysis. In The Psychotherapy Networker, Gary Cooper explains that EEG coherence analysis ‘simultaneously measures different parts of the brain to assess how they work in synchrony. Ciociari’s study is the first Dissociative Identity Disorder study to use EEG coherence analysis.


The Swinburne media report goes on to state that there were significant differences observed in the EEG coherence analysis between the core personalities and their alters, but not between the actor’s true personalities and their pretended personalities. Ciociari of Swinburne states that this lends credibility to the existence of this disorder and militates against the belief that it is fabricated in all cases.


Just a little holiday reminder that the brain is really fucking weird, and more complicated than any of us can even begin to imagine.


Hope everyone's having/had a good New Year's!




And the third, which I found today...




Hi everyone! Have another article that says plurality can't be faked.


Differences in psychophysiological and neural activation patterns were found between the DID patients and both high and low fantasy prone controls. That is, the identity states in DID were not convincingly enacted by DID simulating controls. Thus, important differences regarding regional cerebral bloodflow and psychophysiological responses for different types of identity states in patients with DID were upheld after controlling for DID simulation.


The findings are at odds with the idea that differences among different types of dissociative identity states in DID can be explained by high fantasy proneness, motivated role-enactment, and suggestion. They indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g., iatrogenic) origin.


Have fun!


(don't mind me. I'm kind of off my rails at the moment.)




Hopefully these haven't been posted before by someone else. I'll probably update this as I dig up more stuff.

aka Falah. With Lark, Steven, Rain, and Noctis.

~Our slightly antiquated tulpamancy blog

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