Trial document




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  DRKS00012893

Trial Description

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Title

Sense of ownership and agency in people with a Borderline personality disorder

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Trial Acronym

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URL of the Trial

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Brief Summary in Lay Language

People with a Borderline personality disorder not only show a strong instability in their affect and interpersonal relations, but also in regard to their own sense of the self. This can be impaired in many different ways. Known is for instance that approximately 2/3 of all patients with a borderline personality disorder suffer from dissociative alienation symptoms. Not investigated however is, how those alienation symptoms are caused by an altered sense of ownership and sense of agency. Sense of ownership describes the feeling of mineness of a body part to the own self, whereas sense of agency describes the feeling that one is the person who is initiating controlling an action.
Both phenomenal experiences can be experimentally investigated by the help of the "active rubber hand illusion". In this paradigm, a plausibly-placed artificial hand is moved in temporospatial proximity to the actual hand movements of the participant. In approximately 60 to 70 percent of the participants, this induces an illusionary sense of ownership and agency such that the artificial hand is temporally experienced as part of the own body.
This study aims to investigate how patients with a BPS show an altered sense of ownership and sense of agency compared to healthy persons.

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Brief Summary in Scientific Language

People with a Borderline personality disorder not only show a strong instability in their affect and interpersonal relations, but also in regard to their own sense of the self. This can be impaired in many different ways. Known is for instance that approximately two thirds of all BPS-patients suffer from dissociative alienation symptoms like depersonalization and derealisation. Not yet investigated, however, is, how those alienation symptoms are caused by an altered sense of ownership and agency. The sense of ownership (SoO) describes the sense of belonging of a body part to the own self whereas the sense of agency (SoA) describes the feeling that one is the person who is initiating an action and is actually in charge of the execution of it.

Sense of ownership and the sense of agency can scientifically be investigated by means of the "active rubber hand illusion". In this paradigm, a plausibly placed artificial hand is moved in tempo-spatial proximity to the actual hand movements of the participants. In approximately 60 to 70 percent of the participants, this induces an illusionary sense of ownership and agency over the artificial hand such that the artificial hand is temporally experienced as an integral part of the agentive and bodily self. Moreover, it can be shown that SoO and the SoA can partially be dissociated in experimental settings, but if they co-occur in experience that can also enhance each other. So far, the RHI-paradigm has been tested in more than 80 studies and is increasingly also used for investigating different neuropsychological and psychiatric disorders. In a study with schizophrenic patients for example, it could be shown that these patients show an enhanced RHI-Illusion compared to a healthy control group, possibly due to a hyperplastic neuronal body and action representation.

For measuring SoO and SoA during the RHI-paradigm, subjective questionnaires as well as implicit measurements can be used. An implicit physiological measurement for the SoO is the transient increase of the electrodermal activity (EDA) that can be investigated when the artificial hand (during a successful SoO) is penetrated by a syringe. An implicit method to test SoA, on the other hand, is the ‘Intentional binding’ paradigm that can be integrated into RHI-paradigm. In this paradigm, the participant is asked to estimate the time between either self-generated or externally-generated button presses and an auditory stimulus that follows each button press. A typical observation is that the time interval between the self-generated button presses and the auditory stimulus is estimated shorter compared to the externally generated button presses and its following auditory stimulus.

The aim of this study is to investigate to what extend SoO and SoA differ in BPS-patients. For the investigation, an already existing and on healthy controls tested RHI-construction will be used. Subjective, behavioral and electrodermal data will be gathered from BPS-patients as well as from healthy controls.

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Organizational Data

  •   DRKS00012893
  •   2017/11/27
  •   [---]*
  •   yes
  •   Approved
  •   2017-062, Medizinische Ethikkommission der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
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Secondary IDs

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Health Condition or Problem studied

  •   F60.31 -  [generalization F60.3: Emotionally unstable personality disorder]
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Interventions/Observational Groups

  •   Borderline-Patients:
    Two subsequently following experimental blocks (counterbalanced):

    1. experimental block:
    - Conduction of the active aktiven rubber hand illusion in the anatomically congruent hand position.
    - Thereby time interval estimations between self-generated and other-generated button presses and subsequently played sounds.
    - Evaluation of the senses of agency and ownership.

    2. experimental block:
    - Conduction of the active aktiven rubber hand illusion in the anatomically incongruent hand position.
    - Thereby time interval estimations between self-generated and other-generated button presses and subsequently played sounds.
    - Evaluation of the senses of agency and ownership.
  •   healthy controls:
    Two subsequently following experimental blocks (counterbalanced):

    1. experimental block:
    - Conduction of the active aktiven rubber hand illusion in the anatomically congruent hand position.
    - Thereby time interval estimations between self-generated and other-generated button presses and subsequently played sounds.
    - Evaluation of the senses of agency and ownership.

    2. experimental block:
    - Conduction of the active aktiven rubber hand illusion in the anatomically incongruent hand position.
    - Thereby time interval estimations between self-generated and other-generated button presses and subsequently played sounds.
    - Evaluation of the senses of agency and ownership.
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Characteristics

  •   Non-interventional
  •   Other
  •   Non-randomized controlled trial
  •   Open (masking not used)
  •   [---]*
  •   Other
  •   Basic research/physiological study
  •   Other
  •   N/A
  •   N/A
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Primary Outcome

SoO (Sense of Ownership) and SoA (Sense of Agency) questionnaire after each of the two experimental blocks

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Secondary Outcome

Measurement of the electrodermal activity by an EDA-device and connected notebook after each experimental block

Measurement of the intentional binding by means of a notebook during each experimental block

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Countries of Recruitment

  •   Germany
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Locations of Recruitment

  • University Medical Center 
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Recruitment

  •   Actual
  •   2017/12/01
  •   50
  •   Monocenter trial
  •   National
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Inclusion Criteria

  •   Both, male and female
  •   18   Years
  •   50   Years
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Additional Inclusion Criteria

- clinically diagnosed borderline personality disorder without any other severe neurological or psychiatric comorbidities (e.g. addiction).
- no acute suicidality
- Ability to give consent (e.g. no dementia or acute psychosis)

healthy controls:
- No known mental or organic deseases, especially no hearing or vision impairments.

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Exclusion Criteria

Participants with limited hearing or vision abilities or a phobia of syringes.

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Addresses

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Sources of Monetary or Material Support

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    • Department für Psychologie Abteilung Allgemeine Psychologie
    • Mr.  Prof. Dr.  Christoph  Herrmann 
    • Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
    • 26111  Oldenburg
    • Germany
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Status

  •   Recruiting complete, follow-up complete
  •   2018/07/10
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Trial Publications, Results and other Documents

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