Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trance stare led researchers to discover a genuine hypnotic state

Date:
October 28, 2011
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
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 mental state unlike the normal wakeful condition, or whether it simply reflects a cognitive state similar to those occurring outside hypnosis.

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 mental state unlike the normal wakeful condition, or whether it simply reflects a cognitive state similar to those occurring outside hypnosis.

To date, there has been no reliable way for determining whether a person is actually hypnotized or simply faking or simulating hypnosis. Consequently, many researchers have considered the special, altered hypnotic state as a popular myth in psychology.

An international team of researchers from University of Skφvde (Sweden), University of Turku (Finland) and Aalto University School of Science has now provided strong evidence for the existence of a genuine hypnotic state. The researchers studied the 'trance stare', a glazed look in the eyes that has often been associated with hypnosis in the popular culture but rarely studied scientifically.

The study focussed on healthy adult who is known to be highly susceptible to hypnosis, and is known to respond immediately to hypnotic suggestion. Her eye movements during hypnotic and waking state were measured with a special eye tracker. When she entered hypnosis, her eyes became glazed and her blinking date was significantly reduced. Even more importantly, hypnosis induced dramatic reduction in eye movements that are beyond volitional control in healthy adults. None of thirty tested control subjects could mimic these changes in eye movement patterns volitionally, which underlies that hypnosis does indeed involve an altered mental state which is associated with cognitive and motor changes far beyond our volitional control.

These findings have major implications for psychology and neurosciences, as they confirm the existence of a novel mental state in humans.

The findings were published on Oct. 24, 2011 in the online journal PLoS ONE.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aalto University. 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:

Aalto University. "Trance stare led researchers to discover a genuine hypnotic state." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111028103302.htm>.
Aalto University. (2011, October 28). Trance stare led researchers to discover a genuine hypnotic state. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111028103302.htm
Aalto University. "Trance stare led researchers to discover a genuine hypnotic state." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111028103302.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
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


Evidence for the Existence of a Hypnotic State? Key May Be in the Glazed Staring Eyes, Researchers Suggest

Oct. 25, 2011 — 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 ... read more
from the past week

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