September 1962

Direct Current Potentials in Hypnoanalgesia

Author Affiliations

Chief, Psychology Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Syracuse, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center (Dr. Friedman).
Chief, Orthopaedic Section, Veterans Administration Hospital, Syracuse, and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics, State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center (Dr. Becker).
Professor of Physics, Syracuse University (Dr. Bachman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;7(3):193-197. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01720030039005

Hypnoanalgesia has intrigued and plagued investigators in clinical and experimental hypnosis from the very beginnings of scientific inquiry into the general area of hypnosis. Adequate reviews of the experimental evidence bearing on the validity of the phenomenon have been presented by Weitzenhoffer 12 and Barber.2 In view of the equivocal results from investigations of hypnoanalgesia and alterations of involuntary physiological correlates of pain, and given the more positive evidence of changes in voluntary function with hypnotic suggestion, Weitzenhoffer has indicated that there is no evidence that the alterations brought about are anything more than functional in nature. Barber, in his development of a theory of pain, has emphasized the role of central psychological, as against peripheral and neurophysiological, factors in the mitigation of discomfort caused by noxious stimuli. He arrives at a formulation in which the salient factor in pain, in terms of

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