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Chapter 5.2

PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5.2: Cognitive Neuroscience, Mind-Wandering, Suggestibility

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Steve Joordens

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Altered States of Consciousness: Hypnosis, Mind-Wandering and Disorders of Consciousness
Brain-imaging studies have showed the anesthesia affects more than just activity related to
and touch; affects how different areas of the brain work together to form networks
Anesthesia seems to affect brain networks related to complex thought more importantly th
affects networks related to auditory and visual perception
Studies don’t tell us what consciousness is, but consciousness does not have a simple on/o
There are a number of states of consciousness, each with its own abilities and limitations
Focus Questions
How is information perceived in different states of consciousness?
Is information processed in the background of our awareness?
Cognitive neuroscience researchers have used methods ranging from brain imaging to com
modelling to examine how the coordinated activity of groups of brain cells can produce ou
everyday conscious experiences
Many psychologists use a different strategy to study consciousness:
Examining situations in which consciousness is altered or impaired
By examining how our abilities and experiences change during altered states of
consciousness, we can gain greater insight into our “normal” conscious behavior
Hypnosis: a procedure of inducing a heightened state of suggestibility
Not a trance, as is often portrayed in popular media
Hypnotist simply suggest changes and the subject is more likely (but not certain) to compl
result of the suggestion
Hypnotic suggestions are generally most effective when they fall into one of three categor
Ideomotor suggestions: related to specific actions that could be performed, such as
adopting a specific position
Challenge suggestions: indicate actions that are not performed, so that the subject
appears to lose to ability to perform an action
Cognitive-perceptual suggestions: involve a subject remembering or forgetting spec
Chapter 5.2
Sunday, October 13, 2019
8:55 PM

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Cognitive-perceptual suggestions: involve a subject remembering or forgetting spec
information, or experiencing altered perceptions such as reduced pain sensations
Important to note that hypnotists cannot make someone do something against their will
Hypnotist will increase the likelihood that subjects will perform simple behaviors that
have performed or have thought of before and would be willing to do when in a nor
conscious state
Theories of Hypnosis
Hypnosis comes from Greek word hypno, meaning "sleep"
In reality, research tells us that hypnosis is nothing like sleep
Hypnosis is based on an interactions between
Automatic (unconscious) thoughts and behaviours
A supervisory system, sometimes referred to a executive processing, which is involv
processes such as the control of attention and problem solving
Dissociation theory: explains hypnosis as a unique state in which consciousness is divided
two parts -> a lower-level system involved with perception and movement and an "executi
system that evaluate and monitors these behaviours
During hypnosis, there is a separation between these two systems; actions of thoug
suggested by the hypnosis may bypass the evaluation and monitoring system and go
directly to the simpler perception and movement systems
Eg. Suggestible individuals will experience less input from the executive system
Social-cognitive theory: explains hypnosis by emphasizing the degree to which beliefs and
expectations contribute to increased suggestibility
People tend to conform to what they have been told to expect
Research on hypnosis as a treatment for pain, shows that response expectancy (whe
the individual believes the treatment will work) plays a large role in the pain relief
There is evidence for both theories -> possible that expectations may make some people m
likely to enter a hypnotic state, but once they enter it, they act in a way consistent with th
dissociation theory
Applications of Hypnosis
Has been used to treat a number of different physical and psychological conditions
Often used with other psychotherapies such as cognitive-behavioural theory (CBT) rather
Resulting cognitive hypnotherapy has been used as a treatment for depression, anxi
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