September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
The Power of Hypnosis to Reduce the Attentional Blink.
Author Affiliations
  • Oksana Freedman
    The New School University
  • Arien Mack
    The New School University
Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 1116. doi:
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      Oksana Freedman, Arien Mack; The Power of Hypnosis to Reduce the Attentional Blink.. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1116. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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When two targets are presented in a RSVP stream of visual stimuli, the second target is likely to be missed if it occurs between 200ms and 500ms after the first. This is the Attentional Blink (AB). We explored whether post-hypnotic suggestion can reduce the AB when it directs attention exclusively to the targets. We compared the AB in 12 highly hypnotizable participants (group 1) to 10 less hypnotizable Ps (group 2) and 10 control Ps (group 3). Group 1 and 2 received a post hypnotic suggestion to attend only to numbers in the RSVP stream (17-19 letters and 2 numbers) between two sets of 60 trials, while group 3 did the same tasks with no suggestion. In the two groups receiving post hypnotic suggestion hypnosis was induced using a modified Elman's hypnotic technique (Elman, 1970). All three groups showed an equivalent AB in the first set of trials. Importantly, we found that group 1 showed a significantly smaller AB in the second set of trials than in the first (p=.018) and a significantly smaller AB relative to groups 2 and 3 who showed no reduction in AB in the second set. The AB analysis revealed main effect for suggestion (F (1,22) = 5.413, p = .012). This demonstrates the power of hypnosis to unconsciously amplify the attentional filter, making it more selective so that it can more successfully gate out irrelevant information.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018


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