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This paper examines the current problems in understanding and conceptualizing the “personalities” of individuals with dissociate identity disorder while seeking a biological correlation of these personalities. First, the current theoretical ambiguity and potential problems regarding how we understand personalities in dissociate identity disorder are delineated by examining current international diagnostic criteria and views proposed by leading experts on the topic. The general trend is not to acknowledge each personality as having an independent sense of self, but rather a partial and fragmentary one, which does not seem to match well with its clinical manifestations. The author subsequently proposes that each personality has an independent neurological correlate, a neural network integrated as a dynamic core, as proposed by G. Edelman and G. Tononi. Although their theory is not designed to explicate personalities in dissociate identity disorder, the biological correlates of the personalities might be approximated to a coexistence of multiple dynamic cores, which was predicted by them, and partially exemplified by brain functions in split-brain experiments. The author then draws on the current understanding of the mirror neuron system discovered by G. Rizzolatti, V. Gallese, et al., which forms a basis for the understanding of how our sense of self is formed. They propose that the potential dysfunction of the mirror neuron system in a traumatic and critical situation might explain how different personalities are formed. Finally, the article discusses how these advances might be incorporated into our understanding and treatment of individuals with dissociate identity disorder.
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