September 1962

Improved Visual Recognition During Hypnosis

Author Affiliations

Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Dr. Kliman).
Research Fellow in Psychiatry (Dr. Goldberg).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;7(3):155-162. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01720030001001

Despite a resurgence of experimental interest in hypnotic phenomena, there have been very few quantitative studies of perception during hypnosis. Many perceptual effects of hypnotic suggestion have been recorded, and some have been used extensively for clinical purposes. Perception of pain can be diminished—even completely suspended—by hypnotic suggestion; and conversely, hypnotic suggestion can produce the perception of pain where no external stimulus exists. Visual perceptions can be induced or removed, with the full intensity of positive and negative hallucinations. All other modalities of sensory perception can be strongly influenced—even gustatory and olfactory perceptions are responsive to amplification, reduction, distortion, and complete reversal of quality. Yet in the field of external perceptions there is no experiment which indicates that a phenomenon exists comparable to the enhancing effect of hypnotic states on memory. Memory can perhaps be regarded as an incomplete form of internal

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