The neurophenomenology of hypnosis
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Proceedings of the 50th Annual Conventions of the Parapsychological Association
Förlag: The Parapsychological Association
From its inception, “animal magnetism” and hypnosis have been related to reputed psi phenomena. However, only until recently have phenomenological and neurophysiological approaches advanced enough to go beyond a putative –and vague- hypnotic state. In this study we are following a neurophenomenological approach by analyzing in parallel experience and brain processes. We selected a group of individuals with high, medium, and low hypnotizability. While their cortical activity was evaluated, their responses to a baseline sitting down with eyes closed and then lifting an arm was compared to the same behaviors after a hypnotic induction (1st session); their spontaneous mentation during baseline and various prompts after an induction and a suggestion to go into their “deepest” state was also measured (2nd session). Results show that a between-subjects factor (level of hypnotizabity) and a within subject factor (baseline or other stages of the session) both had significant effects, as did their interaction. While the experience of low hypnotizables was characterized by “normal” mentation, that of “medium” hypnotizables was centered more on vestibular and other bodily sensations, and that of “highs” was characterized by positive affect and “exceptional” mystic-like phenomena. Spectral and source location EEG analyses corroborated various patterns of brain functioning differences across levels of hypnotizability and at different times during the sessions.
50th Annual Conventions of the Parapsychological Association