Abnormal QEEG Patterns Associated with Dissociation and Violence

  • James R. Evans
  • Suzanne Claycomb


A group of ten men with histories of violent behaviors and who reported dissociative type experiences were found to have specific QEEG abnormalities. In six cases there was abnormally excessive relative power at frontal (and sometimes anterior temporal) sites in the alpha frequency band These men either strongly denied awareness that they had engaged in specific violent behaviors, seemed only vaguely aware, or were aware, but perceived having been controlled by an external force, e.g., satan. This is discussed in terms of earlier reports of a correlation of hypnotizability (and, by inference, self­ hypnotizability and dissociation) with high amplitude alpha. In four cases paroxysmal delta waves were observed in the raw EEG primarily at site F8, but occasionally also involving other frontal and right temporal sites. In all four cases the men had histories of engaging occasionally in behaviors which had no cause apparent to them or others, with some of these behaviors involving violence, at times accompanied by delusions. The possibility of this raw EEG abnormality being a marker for at least one type of intermittent explosive disorder is discussed. These findings, if replicated, have relevance to forensic situations and to the application of neurofeedback procedures in the prevention and treatment of some types of violence.