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January 1966

Improved Visual Recognition During Hypnosis

Author Affiliations

From the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(1):100-107. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730070102014

AMBIGUITY IS an important factor in many perceptual phenomena and a vital experimental determinant. As Kris has demonstrated,1 it plays a role in the aesthetic experience. Tarachow2 recently described its role as the basis of much of our humor, in which the incongruities of the situation are often stimulated by the multiple meanings of the stimulus. The classical perceptual studies of Rubin,3 with the exploration of figure and ground and the fascinating phenomenon of reversible figures have proved a fruitful source of experimental techniques. The "double profile" was employed in Schafer and Murphy's early study4 of idiosyncratic perception of an ambiguous figure, one of the first attempts to illustrate the effect of individual motivation in perception. The discrimination of figure and ground also proved basic in Witkin's studies of characterological perceptual styles,5 while the Rubin double profiles were one of the earliest stimuli used

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