5) The longer and stronger persistence of stimulus, the more easily and clearly conditioned images appear. Conversely if the stimulus is momentary, the recalled images appear also momentarily.
6) Not only the visual images but also the sensory images can be elicited in a similar way” (p. 25).
Summary of Part II
“The chief results of Naruse’s experiments with the various subjects are as follows:
1. When one stimulus (C.S.) is given in the normal waking state after a conditioning procedure in which a conditioned bond is formed between two sensory stimuli in deep hypnotic trance, a mental image corresponding to the other stimulus (U.C.S.) appears with amnesia for the conditioning situation. When the stimulus is removed, the image also disappears.
2. The images attained have various degrees of clearness which may be classified on a continuum from hallucinations to memory images.
3. Such images tend to disappear when subjects try to observe them attentively.
4. Images which are broken into elements of the original figure appear as distinct images.
5. Modifications of images may be made by distortion, vagueness of the image, and by decomposition of the image.
6. When two C.S.’s, which were already conditioned individually to two U.C.S.’s are presented at the same time, the images corresponding to each stimulus appear to overlap. This is the composed image.
7. In image composing, which involves the strong-weak stimulus relationship or the spatial positions of two C.S.’s, the clear-vague or positional relationships of the composed images are changed.
8. In the complex of meaningful images, there are two types, primarily. The one grasps the image as a whole, the other observes it in many mosaic elements. The latter can recall the original figure more correctly in an image form than the former.
9. Some positive and negative reports on sensory conditioning in the normal waking state are reviewed” (p. 36).

The investigators do not show that hypnosis enhances imagery, compared with the waking state. They studied sensory-sensory conditioning under hypnosis, with amnesia suggestions, followed by testing for the conditioning effect. This study is relevant to studies of amnesia, “repression.” In some studies they paired sound of a buzzer or metronome (the Conditioned Stimulus) with images (the Unconditioned Stimuli) as in [Oo, X); other studies compared a color patch (CS) with an image (Oo, X). Some studies presented both CS’s together, in different spatial arrangements (in the instance of the color patch CS).
Results (partial) included: “1. When one stimulus (CS.) Is given in the normal waking state after a conditioning procedure in which a conditioned bond is formed between two sensory stimuli in a deep hypnotic trance, a mental image corresponding to the other stimulus (UCS) appears with amnesia for the conditioning situation. When the stimulus is removed, the image also disappears. 2. The images attained have various degrees of clearness which may be classified on a continuum from hallucinations to memory images. 3. Such images tend to disappear when Ss try to observe them attentively. … 5. Modifications of images may be made by distortion, vagueness of the image, and by decomposition of the image. 6. When two CS’s, which are already conditioned individually to two UCS’s, are presented at the same time, the images corresponding to each stimulus appear to overlap. …” (P. 36).


Gibbons, Don E.; Sanchez, George P. (undated). Hyperempiria, a new ‘altered state of consciousness’. [Unpublished manuscript]

The authors suggest that any induction procedure legitimizes acceptance of primary-type suggestions that are at variance with everyday experience. Such primary (i.e. “waking”) suggestions are actually accepted at a higher rate than most people think (Barber & Calverley, 1962), and passing those suggestions convinces the subject he must be “hypnotized.” However, inductions with the word “sleep” tend to retard subject”s response to suggestions. An inudction that is more oriented to alert states would be very useful for many people and situations. “Hyperempiria” in Greek means hyper-experience or enhanced quality of experience. The hyperempiric induction contains suggestions of increased alertness, mind expansion, enhanced awareness, and enhanced sensitivity.

Fredericks, Lillian E. (2001). The use of hypnosis in surgery and anesthesiology. Springfield IL USA: Charles C Thomas.
Preface: Definition of Hypnosis
History of Hypnosis in Surgery
Theories of Hypnosis
1. An Introduction to Hypnosis
2. Hypnosis in the Management of Chronic Pain
3. Hypnosis in Conjunction with Chemical Anesthesia
4. Hypnosis in Conjunction with Regional Anesthesia
5. Hypnosis as the Sole Anesthetic
6. Hypnosis in the Intensive Care Unit
7. Hypnosis in the Emergency Unit
8. Hypnosis in Pediatric Surgery
9. Hypnosis in Obstetrics and Gynecology
10. Perspectives from Physician-Patients
Gibbons, Don E. (2001). Experience as an art form: Hypnosis, hyperempiria, and the Best Me technique. San Jose CA: Authors Choice Press. (([available online:] http//www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/marketplace))

The Best Me Technique is a procedure for constructing suggestions which incorporates many different dimensions of experience — beliefs, emotions, sensations, thoughts, motives, and expectations — for maximum involvement and effectiveness. Best Me suggestions may be used with either hyperempiria, an alert induction based on suggestions of mind expansion and increased alertness and sensitivity, or with more traditional forms of hypnotic induction.

Gibbons, Don (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. New York NY: Plenum Press. ([available online:] http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore)

The book features both traditional hypnotic procedures and hyperempiric inductions based on suggestions of increased awareness, mind expansion, and increased alertness and sensitivity. It contains sections on the use of suggestion as an instrument of personal growth in areas such as improving study skills, taking examinations, achievement motivation, artistic expression, emotional enrichment, aesthetic appreciation and enjoyment, interpersonal effectiveness, musical performance, problem solving, public speaking, salesmanship, sports performance, theatrical performance, and writing ability.

Barabasz, A.; Barabasz, M.; Jensen, S.; Calvin, S.; Trevisian, M.; Warner, D. (1999). Cortical event-related potentials show the structure of hypnotic suggestions is crucial. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 47 (1), 5-22.

Electroencephalographic cortical event-related potentials (ERPs) are affected by information processing strategies and are particularly appropriate for the examination of hypnotic alterations in perception. The effects of positive obstructive and negative obliterating instructions on visual and auditory P300 ERPs were tested. Twenty participants, stringently selected for hypnotizability, were requested to perform identical tasks during waking and alert hypnotic conditions. High hypnotizables showed greater ERP amplitudes while experiencing negative hallucinations and lower ERP amplitudes while experiencing positive obstructive hallucinations, in contrast to low hypnotizables and their own waking imagination-only conditions. The data show that when participants are carefully selected for hypnotizability and responses are time locked to events, rather robust physiological markers of hypnosis emerge. These reflect alterations in consciousness that correspond to participants’ subjective experiences of perceptual alteration. Accounting for suggestion type reveals remarkable consistency of findings among dozens of researchers.
In their Discussion the authors note that not all of the highly hypnotizable subjects demonstrated the changes predicted, consistent with Hilgard’s (1992)observation that individual differences in response remain even among high hypnotizables. Post-experimental inquiry revealed the sources of (non-predicted) response for these two people. “One, showing only a moderate ERP amplitude attenuation in the obstructive condition, noted she pictured a cardboard box in front of the computer monitor, but ‘I pictured a rather small box that didn’t block the entire screen!’ Another showed an apparently contradictory response, a markedly diminished amplitude in the negative hallucination that called for deafness during the auditory stimuli. This participant reported the perception of complete obliteration of all sounds and, therefore, showed no surprise ERP effect. ‘It was kind of scary when he (AB) said ‘deaf’ the second time. I couldn’t hear anything at all. I was glad when he touched my shoulder and it was OK to hear again. I don’t think I would do that again … I mean do the hypnotic suggestion as much!'” (pp. 17-18).

Bargh, John A.; Chartrand, Tanya L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54 (7), 462-479.

What was noted by E. J. Langer (1978) remains true today: that much of contemporary psychological research is based on the assumption that people are consciously and systematically processing incoming information in order to construe and interpret their world and to plan and engage in courses of action. As did E.J. Langer, the authors question this assumption. First, they review evidence that the ability to exercise such conscious, intentional control is actually quite limited, so that most of moment-to-moment psychological life must occur through nonconscious means if it is to occur at all. The authors then describe the different possible mechanisms that produce automatic, environmental control over these various phenomena and review evidence establishing both the existence of these mechanisms as well as their consequences for judgments, emotions, and behavior. Three major forms of automatic self-regulation are identified: an automatic effect of perception on action, automatic goal pursuit, and a continual automatic evaluation of one’s experience. From the accumulating evidence, the authors conclude that these various nonconscious mental systems perform the lion’s share of the self-regulatory burden, beneficently keeping the individual grounded in his or her current environment.

Chapman, C. Richard; Nakamura, Yoshio (1998). Hypnotic analgesia: A constructivist framework. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46 (1), 6-27.

Hypnotic analgesia remains an enigma. Recent neuroscience studies demonstrate that widespread distributed processing occurs in the brains of individuals experiencing pain. Emerging research and theory on the mechanisms of consciousness, along with this evidence, suggest that a constructivist framework may facilitate both pain research and the study of hypnosis. The authors propose that the brain constructs elements of pain experience (pain schemata) and embeds them in ongoing consciousness. The contents of immediate consciousness feed back to nonconscious, parallel distributed processes to help shape the character of future moments of consciousness. Hypnotic suggestion may interact with such processing through feedback mechanisms that prime associations and memories and thus shape the formation of future experience.

The authors suggest that emerging paradigms for the study of consciousness may be useful in bridging research on hypnotic analgesia with advances in research on pain control. The constructivist framework emphasizes central processing of nociceptive signals, and consciousness as “an emergent property of a self-organizing process in a distributed neural network” (p. 14). The Dennett & Kinsbourne (1992) ‘multiple drafts model’ of consciousness and the authors’ constructivist framework provide a way of understanding phantom limb pain, which classical models of pain cannot do. Pain is experienced as the brain blends schemata reflecting current stimuli, memories, associations formed by conditioning, emotions, and cognitions. “Hypnotic suggestions can engender temporally dominant schemata that influence ongoing consciousness construction of the subject” (p. 20). They suggest that “hypnotic analgesia depends heavily on the formation of suggestion-related schemata and subsequent priming effects, that somatosensory imagery is the key element in the contents consciousness [sic], and that the mechanisms behind hypnotic analgesia phenomena are largely related to the competition among schemata for a dominant position within the contents of consciousness” (p. 23). Jean Holroyd

Gibbons, Don (1998). Suggestion as an art form: Alternative paradigm for hypnosis?. [Paper] Presented at annual meeting of American Psychological Association, San Francisco. ([available online:] ftp://members.aol.com/gibbonsdon/artform.txt)

This paper proposes a change in the manner in which we think about suggestion-induced phenomena, moving from primary reliance upon a medical/counseling model to a concurrent view of suggestion as an art form and hypnosis as an artistic medium. the rationale for such an alternative paradigm is discussed, and a procedure for scripting suggestions within the new paradigm — the Best Me technique — is presented, along with a specific illustration of its application, possible implications for current clinical practice, and suggestions for transition to the new paradigm.

Rosenbaum, Robert & Dyckman, John (1996). No self? No problem! Actualizing empty self in psychotherapy . In Hoyt , Michael F. (Ed.), Constructive therapies (2, pp. 238-274). New York NY: Guilford.

In this book chapter, Rosenbaum and Dyckman (1996) argue that self has no permanently fixed, defining, thing-like characteristics (p. 270). They thus dispute the classical notion–commensurate with the position of philosophical realism –that the self is a substance, with fixed qualities and measurable qualities. The authors refer to this classical self as a full self, contained inside the skin and delimited by its participation in linear time. Instead, they propose an empty self, not to be construed as a void, but as a fluid, connected, relational self that overflows the traditional boundaries of the skin and is open to greater possibilities for change. To support their view of an empty self, the authors include several case examples of working with hypnosis and strategic/narrative therapy with clients experiencing a variety of psychological and physical symptoms. The authors further contend that self is not unitary, but the product of multiple drafts (p. 248)[Editor note: See Dennett, 1991, in this database]. In the narrative-constructivist tradition, they argue, if we speak in terms of multiple contextual selves for us all…[then, people diagnosed with MPD/DID] are not so different from the rest of us (p. 249). The chapter draws from western & Buddhist philosophy, strategic/systemic and narrative therapies, Ericksonian hypnosis, and, cognitive science theories regarding memory, consciousness, embodiment, and language, to support their alternative view of, and treatment for, the self

Pribram, Karl H. (1995). Brain in perception: From Kohler’s fields to Gabor’s quanta of information. In Proceeding of the 39th Congress of German Society for Psychology (pp. 53-69).

[The following material was taken from a paper provided by the author as a replacement for a presentation he made on the same topic at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, 1994, Los Angeles.]

Pribram presents the view that neuroelectric field theory (similar to theories proposed by Kohler and by Lashley earlier in this century) account for complexities observed in the relationship between awareness/perception and sensation. “Nerve impulse generation and transmission in neuronal circuits is but one of the important electrical characteristics of neural tissue. Another characteristic is the production of patterns of pre- and post-synaptic polarizations in axonal and dendritic arborizations. … [which] are produced everywhere in the brain cortex when nerve impulses arrive at synapses as a result of the fact that the impulses become attenuated due to decreased fiber size resulting from the branching of axons” (p. 53). The polarizations develop a wave front.
Georg von Bekesy performed experiments on tactile perception that demonstrated the complex relationship between sensation and awareness. We often ‘perceive’ an object as external to us, even though the immediate specific neural stimulation is of receptors and from there activity is transmitted to the neurons of the brain. Thus we ‘see’ an object as external to us, even though the light reflected from that object produces an image on our retina. The same kind of externalized projection occurs for hearing. Touch is ordinarily perceived as at the same location as the stimulation (i.e. in the body), except that the von Bekesy experiments demonstrated that touch could also be perceived at a distance, that is, outside the body, if conditions were appropriate.
In the von Bekesy experiments, a pair of vibrators were used to stimulate two fingers, with each vibrator actuated by the same series of clicks and with the delay of time between the clicks varied. “The interesting point in this experiment is that for the condition in which there is no time delay the vibrations are localized between the two fingers where no skin is present” (p. 55). When two vibrators are placed on the thighs, the experimental subject can, by moving the knees apart, experience the vibratory sensation localized in the open space between the knees! Such an externalization of tactile perception is observed in everyday life, as when in using a knife we seem to sense the edge of the knife in order to make the appropriate movements.
Following from von Bekesy’s work, it seems that only some neural processes lead to awareness. “In fact, instrumental (often automatized) behavior and awareness are to a large extent opposed; the more efficient a performance, the less aware we become. … for the neuroscientist, the question becomes: What kinds of neural activity allow awareness to be inversely related to automatized action?
“Patterns of synaptodendritic polarizations and nerve impulses are two kinds of processes that function reciprocally. A simple hypothesis states that the more or less persistent designs of dendritic field polarization patterns are coordinate with awareness (Pribram, 1971, Chapter 6). This view carries the corollary that circuits of nerve impulses per se and the behavior they generate are unavailable to immediate awareness. Even the production of speech is ‘unconscious’ at the moment the words are spoken” (pp. 55-56).
Some additional information comes from the experimental work of Ben Libet (1966, 1994), in which direct stimulation of brain tissue in waking subjects yields reports of awareness (of a particular part of the body tingling or being in a certain position). However, the awareness occurs 0.5 to 5 seconds post-stimulus, indicating that “electrical stimulation must set up some state in the brain tissue, and only when that state has been attained does the patient become aware” (p. 56).
The evidence of electrical fields comes from using both high pass filters and low pass filters on the electrical activity generated by the brain and picked up on EEG. There are ‘bursts’ of spikes, and onset of the field effect precedes the initiation of spikes. “Just as depolarization of axon membranes is a necessary precursor of the generation of action potentials, so also is the local build up of synaptodendritic field potentials a precursor to the recruitment of action potentials in post synaptic neurons” (p. 57).
Maps of the receptive field of an axon can be developed (e.g. using Kuffler’s procedure). However, stimulation outside of that receptive field can change that axon’s response–a field effect “produced in a more extended field of potentials occurring in neighboring synaptodendritic fields” (p. 58). In this investigation, the relationship between local field potentials of the rat somatosensory system (whisker stimulation) is studied using the Kuffler procedure. Whiskers were stimulated by rotating cylinders which varied in spacing of grooves and speed of rotation. The resulting variation in density of stimulation yielded a map or manifold of cortical bursts/spikes. Pribram’s research fits the experimentally generated data to a theoretical model derived from signal processing theory, using “a rectangular window in the spatiotemporal domain to constrain the two dimensional sinusoidal signal” (p. 62). They noted that the manifolds obtained from somatosensory cortex recordings were similar to receptive field characteristics measured at the primary visual cortex, which “suggests that this process is ubiquitous in the cortical synaptodendritic network” (p. 63).
Referring to the Fourier theorem (that “the original pattern can be reconstituted, reconstructed, by performing the inverse transform” p. 65), the author notes that experimental data are more complex than would be predicted. The author suggests that it would be helpful to employ the Gabor uncertainty principal, in which Gabor (1946) described as a fundamental unit a ‘quantum’ of information. “Gabor became interested in describing a joint spacetime-spectral domain because he noted that there is a limit on the precision to which simultaneous measurement of spectral components and [space]time can be made. … the Gabor relation describes the composition of a sensory channel, and the residual uncertainty defines the limits of channel processing span” (p. 65). The Gabor relationships are similar to those described in quantum physics by Heisenberg, so Gabor referred to a quantum of information, which he named a Logon.
The author describes his experimental results as exhibiting Gabor elementary functions, which “are composed in dendritic arborizations, receptive fields of the neurons from which we are recording. … Each logon, i.e. each such receptive field module, is a channel. According to Gabor, the ensemble of such channels is a measure of the degrees of freedom, the number of distinguishable dimensions or features (e.g., spatial and temporal frequency, degrees of orientations, preferred direction, color). The minimum uncertainty relation expressed by Gabor elementary functions sets the limits on the information processing competence of each of these channels” (pp. 65-66).
In a Coda to this chapter, the author notes that there is a discrepancy between fields (composed of arrival and departure patterns of synapto-dendritic polarizations) and perceptual awareness which “occurs within spacetime coordinates.” Discussion of the discrepancy my be found in Pribram and Carlton (1986). Holonomic brain theory in imaging and object perception. Acta Psychologica, 63, 175-210; and in Pribram (1991), Lecture 6 of Brain and Perception. Basically, there is top-down organization imposed by the cortical system on peripheral sensation/perception. “These various systems not only relate to one another in a hierarchical manner but that the higher order systems operate on lower order systems by interpenetrating. Thus, we ordinarily, immediately perceive named and categorized objects, not just sets of images (though we are capable of ‘imaging’ by suspending the higher order processes). There is abundant evidence of such top-down penetration in the visual, auditory and somatosensory neural systems” (p. 66).

Epstein, Seymour (1994). Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious. American Psychologist, 49 (8), 709-724.

Cognitive-experiential self-theory integrates the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious by assuming the existence of two parallel, interacting modes of information processing: a rational system and an emotionally driven experiential system. Support for the theory is provided by the convergence of a wide variety of theoretical positions on two similar processing modes; by real-life phenomena–such as conflicts between the heart and the head; the appeal of concrete, imagistic, and narrative representations; superstitious thinking; and the ubiquity of religion throughout recorded history–and by laboratory research, including the prediction of new phenomena in heuristic reasoning.

Kokoszka, Andrzej (1993). Occurrence of altered states of consciousness among students: Profoundly and superficially altered states in wakefulness. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 12, 231-247.

In a questionnaire survey waking altered states of consciousness (ASC) are found to be common among 174 Polish students. The experience of Superficially Altered States of Consciousness (SACS) was reported by 96 percent of subjects and more than half of them had such experiences often. Whereas an experience of Profoundly Altered States of Consciousness (PASC) was confirmed by 75 percent and about one-third of them had them often. The comparison of the experiences accompanying the ASC indicates that SASC are characterized by disturbances in experiencing the reality and oneself combined with positive, pleasant feelings and with quietness. On the other hand, PASC are accompanied by experiences related to an absolute, universal, eternal, and existential or religious matters. PASC are accompanied by extremely strong positive emotions of happiness, total love, etc. and are experienced as more rational than SASC, and with significantly less feelings of cognitive disturbances than in SASC. The comparison of circumstances of the ASC occurrence indicates that SASC occur in usual and common states and situation of everyday life, whereas PASC mainly in the context of religion and nature. The congruence of these findings with an integrated model of the main states of consciousness suggests a natural tendency for a cyclical occurrence of ASC, or more precisely, the differentiated waking states of consciousness.

Pekala, Ronald J.; Ersek, Barrett (1993). Firewalking versus hypnosis: A preliminary study concerning consciousness, attention, and fire immunity. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 12, 207-229.

This study assessed the subjective effects associated with firewalking, and compared them with the subjective effects associated with hypnosis and a baseline condition (eyes closed sitting quietly). Twenty-seven subjects, who walked over hot coals during a firewalk ceremony, completed questionnaires about what they subjectively experienced during the firewalk. Their experiences were subsequently compared with those of subjects (n – 246) who experienced hypnosis and a baseline condition. The data suggested that firewalking, as assessed across all subjects, is characterized by high levels of volitional control and rationality, and a very absorbed attentional style wherein the mind is one-pointed, and consciousness is characterized by strong feelings of joy and high levels of internal dialogue. Firewalking was also found to be associated with significantly more joy, one-pointedness of thought, absorption, and internal dialogue than hypnosis or the baseline condition. In addition, a cluster analysis suggested two subgroups of firewalkers based on their subjective experiences of the firewalk. Interestingly, analyzing the attentional experiences among these firewalkers who got slightly burned, versus those who did not, revealed significant differences. A one-pointed and absorbed attentional focus may be the critical variable for the fire immunity observed in firewalking.

About 500 people walked across coals, in 3-4 steps. At end of weekend, 71 said they would complete a questionnaire and it was mailed to them. Of those, 27 responded (25 of 26 in an average of 23 days). Hence, 5% of the population who walked responded to the questionnaire, and it was some time later. Three of 24 reported minor blisters. Those who didn’t get burned reported less detachment, less of a feeling of being out of their bodies, and more thoughts than the firewalkers who got slightly burned.
Pekala has defined an altered state of consciousness as associated with the perception of being in an altered state of awareness (the _subjective sense_ of _altered state_ –SSAS [30]), and a change in the patterning or configuration of the subsystems or dimensions of consciousness. A discrete state of consciousness, as defined by Pekala, is associated with a significant pattern change but no perceived alteration in state of consciousness (no SSAS). An identity state of consciousness, on the other hand, is defined as having neither a significantly perceived alteration in state of awareness nor a perceived pattern change among dimensions of consciousness in reference to another state of consciousness. Since the PCI can measure both intensity and pattern effects, it can be used to assess for altered, discrete, and identity states of consciousness.
Using a cluster analysis they found that one group of 16 subjects reported the firewalk experience to be characterized by a significant alteration in awareness and experience (body image, time sense, etc.), and significant intensities of internal dialogue, positive and negative affect, and arousal, while a second group of six subjects reported little alteration in consciousness or experience, little losses in rationality or control, and less internal dialogue, positive and negative affect or arousal than the larger group.
Whereas hypnosis is usually associated with a loss in control (the classic suggestion effect), firewalking was found to be associated with increased control, a more aroused state, and more fear! Firewalking appears to be a more absorbed and one-pointed state than even hypnosis.
The nature of attentional experience is similar across firewalkers (DAQ results).
Both firewalking and hypnosis meet the criteria for altered states of consciousness (different pattern and different subjective experience), but they are not altered states in reference to each other; they are _discrete states of consciousness_ in reference to each other, because there is a significantly different patterning of PCI dimensions between the two conditions, but no significant SSAS. This suggests that the firewalk state is qualitatively different from the hypnotic state (as induced by the induction procedure to the Harvard Scale) and probably represents a different type of state of consciousness than hypnosis. Firewalkers obtained a lower mean hypnoidal state score than hypnosis subjects, so it does not appear that the fire immunity is due to being in a “hypnotized” state.
The fact that there appears to be two groups of successful firewalkers, one of which did not report much alteration in consciousness, calls into question the theorizing concerning the importance of alteration in state of consciousness as being etiologically related to successful firewalking. Since about 25 percent of the firewalkers clustered into what appears to be a nonaltered state of awareness, this suggests a sizable percentage of subjects who did not report any significant alteration in consciousness and experience.
Hence, what may be important is not an alteration in consciousness, but rather an alteration in attention. The cluster analysis revealed a relatively unitary attentional state across all subjects suggesting that attention was deployed in a rather similar manner across all subjects, that is, with very high absorption and one-pointedness. it was also the DAQ dimensions, and not the PCI dimensions, that successfully discriminated a trend between the blistered and nonblistered firewalkers. Hence, high levels of one-pointedness and absorption, that is, how attention is deployed during firewalking may be more critical (than an alteration in consciousness in general) for the fire immunity observed during firewalking.

Bindler, Paul (1992, October). Hypnosis and Psychotherapy: The clinical utility of altered states of consciousness. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Arlington, VA.
Author assesses state, especially attentional changes, with Multidimensional Consciousness Scale (receptivity, arousal, …. etc.)
Clinical management of anxiety is goal. Cites Nash as characterizing anxiety disorders with cognitive/affective characteristics similar to hypnotized state. Wickramasekera’s model has people high in neuroticism and high in hypnotizable being hypersensitive to stress, with physiological hyperarousal. Lows have alexithymia, may be unresponsive to symbolic events but very responsive to concrete events; poor verbalization of alexithymics leads to somatization.
Author focuses on relaxation and anxiety reduction. Suggests that Crawford’s attention model (highs better able to shift cognitive and attentional strategies) is useful.
Instructions facilitate focusing attention inward so external stimuli become irrelevant. Therapist helps patient focus attention on the link between cognitions and tension.

Merikle, Philip M. (1992). Perception without awareness: Critical issues. American Psychologist, 47, 792-795.

This is the introduction to a group of articles. “To a large extent, this entire controversy over perception without awareness has centered on the issue, What constitutes an adequate behavioral measure of conscious perceptual experience? Depending upon one’s answer to this question, the evidence for perception without awareness is either overwhelming or nonexistent.
The distinction is much more significant and interesting if conscious and unconscious processes lead to qualitatively different consequences than if unconscious processes are simply quantitatively weaker versions of unconscious processes. Three different qualitative differences have been established: 1. Groeger (1984, 1988) has demonstrated that words are coded differently depending on whether they are perceived with or without awareness. 2. Stroop effect research showed that prediction based on stimulus redundancy only occurs when subjects consciously perceive the predictive stimuli (Cheesman & Merikle, 1986). The fact that the color word predicted the name of the color patch on 75% of the trials was only used by the subjects to facilitate naming of the color patches when the words were clearly visible. 3. Marcel (1980) showed that conscious awareness is necessary for the selection of a context-relevant interpretation of a stimulus.
The important findings are that performance differs qualitatively across the aware and nonaware conditions.

Brown, Jason W. (1991). Self and process: Brain states and the conscious present. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Author, from the Department of Neurology at New York University Medical School, presents a theory about the genetic unfolding of mental content (mind) through stages, from mental state into consciousness or into behavior. He relates the genesis of mind to brain development but avoids assuming that there is a straightforward correlation between brain development (e.g. myelination) and cognitive development or perception. To some degree, the theory is based on subjective report data and psychological symptoms. The author discusses issues that bear on the phenomena of nonvoluntary responding and dissociation that are reported or described by hypnotized persons.
“The nature of the mental state will determine the relation between self and world, and thus the interpretation given to agency and choice. … The crossing of the boundary from self to world is a shift from one level in mind to another” (pp. 10-11).
“… if we begin with mind as primary and seek to explain objects from inner states and private experience, the discontinuity between inner and outer evaporates: mind is everywhere, a universe. … Whereas before we thought to perceive objects, now we understand that we think them” (p. 19).
“The concept of a stratified cognition is central to the notion of a mental state …. This entails an unfolding from depth to surface, not from one surface to the next, a direction crucial to agency and the causal or decisional properties of consciousness” (p. 52). By unfolding from depth to surface, he means from Core, through Subconscious, then Conscious Private Events, and finally Extra-Personal Space.
He goes on to provide a definition of mental states. “A mental state is the minimal state of a mind, an absolute unit from the standpoint of its spatial and temporal structure. … The state also has to include the prehistory of the organism. … The concept of a mental state implies a fundamental unit that has gestalt-like properties, in that specific contents– words, thoughts, percepts–appear in the context of mind as a whole (p. 53).
“The entire multitiered system arborizes like a tree, with levels in each component linked to corresponding levels in other components. For example, an early (e.g., limbic) state in language (e.g., word meaning) is linked to an early stage in action (e.g., drive, proximal motility) and perception (e.g., hallucination, personal memory) …. In sum, a description of the spatial and temporal features of a _single_ unfolding series amounts to a description of the minimal unit of mind, the _absolute_ mental state” (p. 54).
The author’s discussion of an individual’s physical movement relates to the concept of nonvoluntary movement (or movement without awareness of volition) in hypnosis. “More precisely, levels in the brain state constitute the action structure. As it unfolds, this structure generates the conviction that a self-initiated act has occurred. This structure–the action representation–does not elaborate content in consciousness. … As with the sensory-perceptual interface, the transition to movement occurs across an abrupt boundary. In some manner, perhaps through a translation of cognitive rhythms in the action to kinetic patterns in the movement, levels in the emerging act discharge into motor (physical) events” (p. 57).
“The self has the nature of a global image or early representation within which objects-to-be are embedded. … The self is the accumulation of all the momentary cognitions developing in a brain configured by heredity and experience in a particular way (p. 70).
“The deposition of a holistic representation … creates the deception of a self that stands behind and propagates events. The feeling of the self as an agent is reinforced by the forward thrust of the process and the deeper locus of the self in relation to surface objects. The self appears to be an instigator of acts and images when in fact it is given up in their formation. The self does not cause or initiate, it only anticipates (p. 70).
The foregoing notes cover only the first five chapters, less than half the book. Other chapters relevant to hypnosis would be those titled ‘The Nature of Voluntary Action,’ ‘Psychology of Time Awareness,’ ‘From Will to Compassion,’ and ‘Mind and Brain.’

Brown, Peter (1991). The hypnotic brain: Hypnotherapy and social communication. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Notes are taken from a review of this book: Diamond, Michael (1993). Book review. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 57 (Winter), 120-121.
Brown “posits that because the fundamental matrix of the human brain is metaphoric, hypnosis results from skillful matching of metaphorical communication with the brain’s biological, rhythmic alterations. The most significant feature of trance experience is thereby located in the hypnotist-subject interaction” (p. 120).
“The middle section [of the book is comprised largely of] literature reviews in support of Rossi’s (1986) ultradian rhythm theory of hypnosis and Lakoff and Johnson’s (Johnson, 1987; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) experientialist theory of conceptual thought” (p. 120). The final section includes “research evidence on medical uses of hypnosis, a theory of dissociation and multiple personality disorders, and an uncritical discussion of Milton Erickson’s naturalistic hypnotherapeutic approach … [and also] a brief discussion of the social-cultural functions of possession states among the Mayotte culture” (p. 120).
Dennett, Daniel C. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little, Brown & Co..
NOTES: Material in this book is relevant to discussions about ‘nonvoluntary’ behavior and (un)conscious experiencing. It combines information from cognitive neuroscience with the philosophy of mind. The author presents a view that consciousness (the ‘mind’) is the consequence of the brain’s activities which give rise to illusions about their own properties. He presents the Multiple Drafts model of consciousness, which reformulates the concept of a ‘stream of consciousness.’ This provides a basis for consideration of concepts central to cognitive neuroscience and phenomena associated with hypnosis, e.g. experiential states and the nature of the self.
The author gives various examples of phenomenology and notes that although these examples are familiar to us, they are totally inaccessible to materialistic science; e.g. the way the sunset looks to someone. He treats people’s descriptions of what they experience as a record of speech acts. Thus, observing and interpreting speech acts, inferring from them the speaker’s inner states, is like a reader who is interpreting a work of fiction. He gives as examples of how one can scientifically study what does not ‘exist’ (a) literary theorists who describe fictional entities, (b) anthropologists who study cultural artifacts like gods and witches, and (c) physicists who study a center of gravity.
In Dennett’s theory, multitrack processes of interpretation of sensory inputs and elaboration of those inputs amounts to a kind of ‘editorial revision’ by the brain. For example in the phi phenomenon a red dot is displayed, followed by a green dot in a different location; the first spot seems to begin moving and then change color in the middle of its illusory passage toward the second location. He points out that awareness of the change in color must occur after seeing the green spot, but one consciously experiences a single spot first red, then red-turning-to-green, finally green. In an example that relates directly to the words used for his theory, he cites contemporary publishing practices, in which several different drafts of an article are in circulation even while the author is revising it. Deciding on some specific moment of brain processing as the moment of consciousness is arbitrary, according to his Multiple Drafts model.
“Visual stimuli evoke trains of events in the cortex that gradually yield discriminations of greater and greater specificity. At different times and different places, various ‘decisions’ or ‘judgments’ are made; more literally, parts of the brain are caused to go into states that discriminate different features, e.g., first mere onset of stimulus, then location, then shape, later color (in a different pathway), later still (apparent) motion, and eventually object recognition. These localized discriminative states transmit effects to other places, contributing to further discriminations, and so forth. The natural but naive question to ask is: ‘Where does it all come together’? The answer is: Nowhere. Some of these distributed contentful states soon die out, leaving no further traces. Others do leave traces, on subsequent verbal reports of experience and memory, on ‘semantic readiness’ and other varieties of perceptual set, on emotional state, behavioral proclivities, and so forth. Some of these effects–for instance, influences on subsequent verbal reports–are at least symptomatic of consciousness. But there is no one place in the brain through which all these causal trains must pass in order to deposit their content ‘in consciousness'” (pp. 134-135).
The author describes the evolution of the brain, along Darwinian lines, and introduces the idea of culture as a repository and transmission medium for innovations (including innovations of consciousness) as a medium of evolution. Through learning, we humans evolve an American or a Japanese brain. Once we have evolved the ‘entrance and exit pathways’ for language, they become ‘parasitized’ by _memes_ (entities that have evolved to thrive in such a niche).
Richard Dawkins coined the term _memes_ to describe the smallest idea elements that replicate themselves reliably (e.g. wheel, alphabet, wearing clothes, right triangle). “The transformation of a human brain by infestations of memes is a major alteration in the competence of that organ” (p. 209).
Dennett discusses the similarities and dissimilarities of brains and computers. He suggests that human minds are like serial virtual machines implemented on parallel processing hardware. The stream of consciousness results from our rehearsal of brief experiences, to commit them to memory; language then permits us to describe to ourselves the process of thinking which leads to judgement and action.
The author’s discussion of how a verbal expression evolves and becomes manifest is related to how so-called intentional action occurs. [This relates to discussions of nonvoluntary actions in hypnosis.] We assume that because our actions make sense, they are the product of serial reasoning. However, there are multiple channels “in which specialist circuits try, in parallel pandemoniums, to do their various things … (pp. 253- 254). Bernard Baars has suggested “that consciousness is accomplished by a ‘distributed society of specialists that is equipped with a working memory, called a _global workspace_, whose contents can be broadcast to the system as a whole (p. 42)'” (p. 257). Dennett states that there is no line dividing the events that are definitely in consciousness from those that are outside consciousness. He urges scientists to forgo the concept of the ‘inner observer’ implied by Cartesian materialism.
Examples of perception that is unaccompanied by consciousness include blindsight (in which the subject does better than chance on visual tests but denies consciousness, and the denials are given credence by neurological evidence of brain damage) and hysterical blindness, which is given less credence because subjects often use the visually provided information in ways blindsight Ss do not. Other behaviors not controlled by conscious thought include blinking when things approach the eye, walking without falling over, regulating our body temperature, adjusting our metabolism, etc. “If I am trying to see a bird that I hear, and stare at the spot but do not distinguish the bird from its background, can I say that it is present in the background of my (visual) consciousness or not?” (p. 336).
The author maintains that if an event doesn’t linger and the person is unable to identify and reidentify the effect, it cannot be reported. But such reportability can be improved, as with training the palate of wine tasters. Often, however, we continue disregarding stimuli that impinge on us. There are minor oversights, such as our ‘blind spots’ or proof reading errors, and major oversights such as a brain-damaged patient’s hemi-neglect. In the Multiple Drafts theory, the Observer is replaced by ‘coalitions of specialists’ that are distributed around in the brain, distributed in both time and space.
Though discrimination or discernment happens, there is no one Discerner doing the work. However, Dennett takes the middle ground on the question of whether a self exists: it is simply a creation like the nest of the Bower bird, or the organized colony of termite ants. “So wonderful is the organization of a termite colony that it seemed to some observers that each termite colony had to have a soul (Marais, 1937). We now understand that its organization is simply the result of a million semi-independent little agents, each itself an automaton, doing its thing. So wonderful is the organization of a human self that to many observers it has seemed that each human being had a soul, too: a benevolent Dictator ruling from Headquarters” (p. 416). The sense of self is a creation, like a physicist’s center of gravity.
Thus, multiple personality disorder is viewed as a self that has gaps; and our sense of self might include different aspects from one year to the other. Hence, “selves are not independently existing soul-pearls, but artifacts of the social processes that create us, and, like other such artifacts, subject to sudden shifts in status. The only ‘momentum’ that accrues to the trajectory of a self, or a club, is the stability imparted to it by the web of beliefs that constitute it, and when those beliefs lapse, it lapses, either permanently or temporarily” (p. 423).
Finally, the author has an extensive discussion of the concepts of ‘qualia’ and of ‘epiphenomena’ and seems to have little use for either term in trying to understand Mind.

Kunzendorf, Robert G.; Beltz, Susan McLaughlin; Tymowicz, Gina (1991-92). Self-awareness in autistic subjects and deeply hypnotized subjects: Dissociation of self-concept versus self-consciousness. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 11, 129-141.

By refining past tests of self-awareness in mirrors, current testing demonstrates that autistic subjects’ percepts are dissociated from self-concept, whereas hypnotized subjects’ sensations are dissociated from self-consciousness. In the current test of self-concept, subjects could not _directly_ see a line inside the box on their lap, but subjects could see the line _indirectly_ in a televised mirror image. When instructed to touch the line, autistic subjects reached towards the televised line, whereas nonautistic subjects reached towards the actual line occluded inside the box. This first result suggests that the autistic subject’s visual percept of the televised line is dissociated from its spatial relationship to the subject’s self-concept. In the current test of self-consciousness, subjects were told to use a televised mirror-image to move their hands together until touching, but were not told that they were actually seeing a pre-recorded tape of their hands struggling unsuccessfully to touch. When queried, hypnotized subjects denied that their tactually joined hands were touching, whereas nonhypnotized subjects confirmed that their hands were touching. This latter result suggests that the hypnotized subject’s hand-touching sensations are dissociated from the immediate and incontrovertible self-consciousness _that one is perceiving the hands touching (not imaging them touching)_.

Neill, W. Trammell (1991, August). Consciousness and the inhibitory control of cognition. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco.

This review mentions an association between Tellegen’s Absorption Scale and a cognitive inhibitory process called negative priming. Westberry and colleagues, including Anker and Neill, found that people high on the Absorption Scale show an extremely large negative priming effect.
Attention is usually attributed to facilitation (selectively processing stimuli that meet our needs) but might also be due to inhibition of competing stimuli. If, after stimulus S2 has been ignored, we now require a response to either S2 or a new stimulus, S3, according to the facilitation theory S2 should be processed as easily as S3; according to the inhibition theory, processing of the recently ignored stimulus may be hampered by the persistence of inhibition.
Dalrymple-Alford provided evidence of inhibition using a Stroop color naming task in which each printed word in a list named the ink color of the next word in the list. Dalrymple-Alford concluded that the response to each word had to be suppressed in order to name its ink color, thereby making it harder to make that same response to the next item. Neill replicated it: color naming was slower when the current color matched the previous distractor (e.g., YELLOW in green ink, after GREEN in red ink) than when the current and previous trial were unrelated (e.g., YELLOW in green ink, after BLUE in red ink).
Tipper, Weaver, Cameron, Brehaut, & Bastedo (1991) had subjects name a picture at fixation, ignoring another picture to the left or right, and Tipper (1985) had subjects ignore picture drawn in another color. If the ignored picture subsequently becomes the target, it is named more slowly than an unrelated target. A particularly interesting finding is that the inhibition generalizes to semantic associates (e.g. if a picture of a dog is ignored, a picture of a cat will then be named more slowly). Yee (1991) demonstrated the effect with ignored words. Tipper (1985) called the inhibitory effects “negative priming”.
Neill used a task in which S is shown a string of five letters, and is instructed to judge the second and fourth letters as “same” (e.g., ABABA) or “different” (e.g., ABACA). Negative priming was shown by slower reaction time to target letters that matched the previous ignored distractors (in case below, ABABA):
ABABA – Reaction times are 779 for CACAC and 766 for CDCDC because the A appears in both ABABA and CACAC.
Negative priming does not appear to be perceptual, since it occurs between physically dissimilar stimuli, e.g. in the Stroop task ignoring a printed word inhibits responding to a color. And Tipper and Driver (1988) found negative priming between pictures and corresponding words. By default, the locus of inhibition appears to be at the level of a central cognitive representation. That is, it occurs at a level in which the word GREEN and the color green are related to the same abstract concept, but have not yet accessed an overt response.
However, in the letter-matching task, negative priming occurred only if the ignored distractor letter and subsequent target shared the same letter case. If the ignored distractor and subsequent target were in opposite case (e.g., ABABA, then cacac), positive priming was obtained instead. Because the letter-matching task could be performed on the basis of perceptual similarity, it appears that inhibition can be specific to the perceptual representation when attention is directed to that level of processing.
Individual differences in negative priming appear to be related to more global cognitive effectiveness. N.B. Stroop interference is greatest at age 7, decreasing to adolescence, then plateaus through adulthood (Comalli, Wapner & Werner, 1962). Children in second grade also show less negative priming than young adults in picture naming task (Tipper et al. 1989). (Same thing was found for the elderly, and it is associated with distractibility).
Negative priming research suggests the inhibition of irrelevant processing that is critical for effective functioning. Beech, Baylis & Claridge, 1989, and Beech & Claridge, 1987, studied schizophrenics and college students with schizotypal traits using negative priming task, where these appear to be associated with a failure to inhibit distracting information.
Broadbent et al’s (1982) Cognitive Failures Questionnaire measures self-reported lapses of perception, memory, and motor function. Tipper and Baylis (1987) found that negative priming was negatively correlated with cognitive failures; i.e. cognitive failures are associated with less inhibition of distracting information.
Westberry, 1984; Westberry, Anker & Neill, in preparation – found that people high on the Absorption Scale show an extremely large negative priming effect, while the effect for “low absorbers” was negligible.

Biasutti, M. (1990). Music ability and altered states of consciousness: An experimental study. International Journal of Psychosomatics, 37, 82-85

The relationship between music and altered states of consciousness was studied with 30 subjects divided into hypnosis and control groups. The “Test di abilita musicale” was applied. The hypnosis group did the retest after posthypnotic suggestions and the second in waking conditions. The hypnosis group had better results than the control group, especially in the rhythm test (p < 0.0001).