2/24: Aaron, Kristen F., Kimberly
3/10: Kristen G., Dahlia
4/7: Gordon, Emily M.
4/21: Eleanor, Aidan, Nicole, Rebecca
5/5: Emma, Natalie, Viviana
I was confused as to why there was a higher percentage of hypnotizable children versus adults. If in hypnosis, as Dr. Spiegel says, "We imagine something different, so it is different," the top-down expectation trumps the bottom-up information. Is it easier to hypnotize children because it is easier to manipulate "immature" expectations or create new expectations/ preconceptions. Is hypnotism banking on memory or avoiding it? What role does memory, in all its forms, play? What top-down circuits is Dr. Spiegel referring to specifically? Would a 100% of children younger than two be successfully hypnotized?
This article was published in 2005. Hypnosis, it seems, goes through waves of legitimacy and illegitimacy in the eyes of scientists. Sandra Blakeslee writes of hypnosis in a somewhat positive light, as it provides understanding to certain areas of the brain. I am curious as to the widespread opinion of hypnosis today, as well as how commonly it is practiced in neuroscience and psychotherapy.
One question I have concerning hypnosis is the length of time the effects of a suggestion last. I have always been under the impression that hypnosis did not cause permanent shifts in action, yet the Stroop study indicates that subjects who had been hypnotized were still influenced by their hypnosis after multiple days. The length of time that the effects of hypnosis can be felt seems especially relevant when thinking about decision making in the face of conflict. For example, could certain responses to conflict be “programmed” into a person ahead of time? I am also interested in the reasons why children under 12 years are more suggestible to hypnosis than adults. Perhaps it has to do with greater brain plasticity in children?
Of the one in five adults resistant to hypnosis, are they also consciously resistant? Is hypnosis similar to other alternative therapies in that the more you believe in it, the better it works? Or are the four of five hypnosis able (or in between) adults also potential non-believers, of course, until they see results and believe? Hypnosis seems to involve a lot of top-down processes 'overriding brain circuits' or causing activity different from that expected in the brain. I assume this would involve mature top-down circuits, but the data stating that children are are more hypnotizable suggests otherwise. And so, like everyone else, I am curious as to why that would be. Also, I did some hypnotic therapy when I was 12. It worked for a few years.
I'm also curious about the phenomenon with the children, and what may make a person "highly hypnotizable" or not. As for the state of hypnosis, I was intrigued when near the beginning of the article they mentioned that some scientists think a hypnotic state is some form of "extreme concentration." I've also heard of meditation being described this way. I wonder if hypnotic states and meditative states are similar? If so, why is it that a meditative state is self-induced, while a hypnotic state is outwardly induced? Are there people "immune" to meditation like there are to hypnosis?
What are the physical differences in the brains of adults that are susceptible to hypnosis and those who are not?