Swift switching, along with atypical ability on updating and inhibition, has been found in non-clinical dissociators. However, whether swift switching is a cognitive endophenotype that intertwines with traumatisation and pathological dissociation remains unknown. Unspecified acute psychiatric patients were recruited to verify a hypothesis that pathological dissociation is associated with swift switching and traumatisation may explain this relationship. Behavioural measures of intellectual function and three executive functions including updating, switching and inhibition were administered, together with standardised scales to evaluate pathological dissociation and traumatisation. Our results showed superior control ability on switching and updating in inpatients who displayed more symptoms of pathological dissociation. When all three executive functions were entered as predictors, in addition to intellectual quotient and demographic variables to regress upon pathological dissociation, switching rather than updating remained the significant predictor. Importantly, the relationship between pathological dissociation and switching became non-significant when the effect of childhood trauma were controlled. The results support a trauma-related switching hypothesis which postulates swift switching as a cognitive endophenotype of pathological dissociation; traumatisation in childhood may explain the importance of swift switching.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences