The “Hidden Observer” as the Cognitive Unconscious During Hypnosis

Abstract

The question of how to define and explain hypnosis is still not completely answered. Most of the theories of hypnosis are based on describing it as an altered state of consciousness; others focus on intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects, sociopsychological, neurocognitive or sociocognitive processes. More detailed explanation of hypnosis requires a synthesis of these various perspectives — a task for future research. Recent experiments are in agreement with Braid’s concept of hypnosis (published already in 1843) defining hypnosis as a process enhancing or depressing neural activity as well as changing functional connectivity among brain regions; the brain regions involved in mental imagery are thought to be central for hypnosis. In the present article we suggest that the “hidden observer” under hypnosis might be due to the cognitive unconscious and that this special state emerges principally in highly susceptible subjects. Explicitly, the “hidden observer” might be nothing other than the cognitive unconscious.

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Császár, N., Scholkmann, F., Kapócs, G. et al. The “Hidden Observer” as the Cognitive Unconscious During Hypnosis. Act Nerv Super 58, 51–61 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03379735

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  • Hypnosis
  • Cognitive unconscious
  • Hidden observer
  • Precuneus
  • Visual areas