Cardeña: An introduction to scientific and clinical hypnosis; what is it
and what is it good for?
There are few scientific topics
that are generally so fraught with misunderstandings as hypnosis, from opinions
that it is just some kind of fraud or nonsense to, in the other extreme, that
it is some kind of technique in which a hypnotist with special powers can take
over the will of weak-willed subjects. The domain of hypnosis is far less
dramatic yet also far more interesting than these misconceptions. In this
presentation I will briefly discuss the history of hypnosis, including related
phenomena such as mesmerism, and define it as both a set of techniques and the
experiential, physiological, and behavioral phenomena that they can give rise
to. After discussing some basic research on hypnosis (e.g., is hypnotic ability
related to other abilities, does brain activity change as a product of hypnotic
suggestions), I will discuss various medical and psychological conditions for
which hypnosis has shown to be an empirically supported treatment technique.
Psychosis - How close are the parallels?
There are a number of curious parallels
between conditions such as schizophrenia and the phenomenon of hypnosis; for
example, hallucinations may be experienced with both. This invites two
questions: are the links more than coincidental, and if so should we look for a
common aetiology? The talk will touch on the topic of child abuse, which
some listeners may find disturbing. The presentation will end with a
group hypnosis session, in which those who wish may try to experience the
phenomenon for themselves.
Terhune: The instrumental use of hypnosis for the study of
a valuable method for inducing and modulating a variety of psychological and
neurological conditions that are otherwise difficult to investigate in a
controlled environment. In this presentation I will review recent experimental
studies that have used hypnosis to induce and manipulate synaesthesia.
Experimental studies have shown that posthypnotic suggestion can be used to
induce synaesthesia, including its different phenomenological subtypes, in
highly suggestible non-synaesthetes and to modify or disrupt synaesthesia in
highly suggestible congenital synaesthetes. This research sheds light on the
mechanisms and characteristics of synaesthesia as well as the viability of
producing an experimental analogue of synaesthesia.
Cardeña: An intro to scientific hypnosis; what is it and what
is it good for?
Naish: Hypnosis and Psychosis - How close are the parallels?
Terhune: The instrumental use of hypnosis for the
study of synaesthesia