Detection and enhancement of the hypnotic state in susceptible and resistant subjects

MJ Griffiths, AW Preece

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

A major problem in the use of hypnosis for therapeutic or forensic purposes is the lack of an objective measure of the degree of response to hypnotic suggestion, particularly for the unresponsive or resistant subject. In a clinical study of trained subjects and 20 first-time volunteers, each subject was monitored for an electro-encephalographic (EEG) response, using a simplified 3 electrode system and a real-time spectrum analyser. A regime of hypnosis followed by 25% nitrous oxide/oxygen, or in the reverse order, was used whilst the EEG was monitored. In the trained subject, with or without nitrous oxide, the hypnotic state was accompanied by marked suppression of 0 to 3 Hz activity and the appearance of a new band of activity in the 10 Hz range as an enhancement of the normal alpha response. This characteristic pattern was extremely useful feedback to the therapist. Many untrained subjects given hypnosis first failed to show this pattern whereas all subjects given nitrous oxide quickly produced a pattern which was identical to that in the trained hypnotic subject. Transient changes in the pattern were observed when specific topics were mentioned, e.g. when aversion suggestions were used against smoking. This technique appears to have possibilities in the production and monitoring of an enhanced, rapid hypnotic state even in the resistant subject and may therefore be of value in forensic investigation.
Translated title of the contributionDetection and enhancement of the hypnotic state in susceptible and resistant subjects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359 - 359
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the Forensic Science Society
Volume24; 4
Publication statusPublished - 1984

Bibliographical note

Author of Publication Reviewed: Griffiths M and Preece A

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