Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Proved! Hypnosis Does Alter States Of Brain...

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...And Also Alters States Of Consciousness

The journal, "Neuron", has published an article titled "Mesmerizing Memories: Brain Substrates of Episodic Memory Suppression in Posthypnotic Amnesia" in its recent issue dated January 10, 2008 (Here is the URL).

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Strip away the usual mumbo-jumbo the scientists love to surround themselves with, and the picture that emerges is that they have finally been able to confirm that hypnosis is not just another side-show that you enjoy at the circus or any of those after-dinner family entertainment programs. Hypnosis does alter states of the brain.

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A group of subjects that is susceptible to post-hypnotic amnesia was made to watch a movie. They were then hypnotized, and under that state they were given two suggestions:

1. To forget the movie in toto.
2. To recall the movie again in response to a cue.

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When this happened, the fMRI scan showed some very specific regions in the occipital, temporal and prefrontal lobes of the brain being activated differently than the control group (which was not affected by any amnesia). Later, when the cue was given so that the group would remember the movie once again, these very same regions showed some activity.

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Ergo, hypnosis does have an impact on different areas of the brain.

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Good to know that scientists are now cottoning on to a concept that we self-developers knew already through our own empirical observations.

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Exactly who or what in the brain / body "listens" to the hypnotic suggestion, and proceeds to implement it by activating the appropriate regions of the brain? We self-developers call it the sub-conscious. Some others call it the homunculus. Will take a while for them to get there, but it is good news that scientists are making progress with their measuring devices and instruments.

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