Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Evidence for the existence of a hypnotic state? Key may be in the glazed staring eyes, researchers suggest

Date:
October 25, 2011
Source:
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Summary:
A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Finland and Sweden has found that the strange stare of patients under hypnosis may be a key that can eventually lead to a solution to a long debate about the existence of a hypnotic state.

Eyes in the normal waking state (top) and under hypnosis (bottom).
Credit: Image courtesy of Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Finland (University of Turku and Aalto University) and Sweden (University of Skφvde) has found that the strange stare of patients under hypnosis may be a key that can eventually lead to a solution to a long debate about the existence of a hypnotic state.

Related Articles


One of the most widely known features of a hypnotized person in the popular culture is a glazed, wide-open look in the eyes. Paradoxically, this sign has not been considered to have any major importance among researchers and has never been studied in any detail, probably due to the fact that it can be seen in only some hypnotized people.

Published in the online journal PLoS ONE, the study was done with a very highly hypnotizable participant who can be hypnotized and dehypnotized by just using a one-word cue. The change between hypnotic state and normal state can thus be varied in seconds.

The researchers used high-resolution eye-tracking methodology and presented a set of well-established oculomotor tasks that trigger automatic eye behavior. They found the glazed stare was accompanied by objectively measurable changes in automatic, reflexive eye behavior that could not be imitated by non-hypnotized participants.

In the field of hypnosis research this result means that hypnosis can no longer be regarded as mental imagery that takes place during a totally normal waking state of consciousness. On the other hand, the result may have wider consequences for psychology and cognitive neuroscience, since it provides the first evidence of the existence of a conscious state in humans that has previously not been scientifically confirmed.

Hypnosis has had a long and controversial history in psychology, psychiatry and neurology. For over 100 years researchers have debated if a special hypnotic state exists or whether it is just about using cognitive strategies and mental imagery in a normal waking state. So far, a hypnotic state has never been convincingly demonstrated, and therefore, many researchers regard the hypnotic state to be just a popular myth in psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sakari Kallio, Jukka Hyφnδ, Antti Revonsuo, Pilleriin Sikka, Lauri Nummenmaa. The Existence of a Hypnotic State Revealed by Eye Movements. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e26374 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026374

Cite This Page:

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Evidence for the existence of a hypnotic state? Key may be in the glazed staring eyes, researchers suggest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025091559.htm>.
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2011, October 25). Evidence for the existence of a hypnotic state? Key may be in the glazed staring eyes, researchers suggest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025091559.htm
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Evidence for the existence of a hypnotic state? Key may be in the glazed staring eyes, researchers suggest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025091559.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) — Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) — If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) — People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Trance Stare Led Researchers to Discover a Genuine Hypnotic State

Oct. 28, 2011 — Hypnosis has had a long and controversial history in psychology, psychiatry and neurology. For the past hundred years, researchers have debated whether or not hypnosis really involves an altered ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins