Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler, ZoltanDienes, Theodora Duka<br />University of Sussex<br />Alcohol Increases Hypnotic Susceptibil...
A brief introduction to hypnosis<br />Hypnotic experiences are characterised by having one or both of two fundamental qual...
Neuro-cognitive theories<br />Dissociated control:<br />Executive functions (SAS, located in the prefrontal cortex) dissoc...
Socio-cognitive theories<br />Hypnotic responses are not really involuntary, they just feel as though they are.<br />Respo...
Higher Order Thought TheoryDavid Rosenthal (1986,2005)<br />A conscious mental state is a mental state  of which we are co...
Distinguish first order content <br />‘The tree is green’<br />from second order content:<br /> ‘I see that the tree is gr...
HOTs<br />“I think I am intending to lift my arm”<br />“Lift the arm!”<br />“I am intending to lift my arm”<br />Unconscio...
Note:<br />“Executive control” (e.g. overcoming habit) can be unconscious on HOT theory<br />Because we could have an inte...
Cold Control TheoryZoltanDienes and Josef Perner(2007) <br />Executive control without awareness<br />Hypnosis requires in...
Effects of Alcohol on the Frontal Lobes<br />Alcohol impairs the frontal lobes (Suzuki and Amaral,1994) and associated exe...
Method<br />Participants: 32 ‘mediums’ from Sussex University<br />Half were given alcohol (0.8g/kg) and half were given a...
Suggestions<br />Magnetic hands   		(easy motor)<br />Heavy arm			(easy motor)<br />Rigid arm 			(challenge motor)<br />Ar...
Letter Fluency Task<br />Participants who had drunk alcohol performed significantly worse after drinking their drinks on t...
Subjective Hypnotic Responding<br />Participants who had drunk alcohol responded more, according to their subjective ratin...
Expectancy<br />Expectancy correlated positively with subjective responses across both groups<br />	Pearson’s r = .55, p <...
The Effects of alcohol on hypnosis<br />Mean Score<br />
Conclusions and future directions<br />Alcohol increases hypnotic susceptibility.<br />The effect of alcohol on hypnotic r...
Next time you’re drunk, find a hypnotist!<br />
Thank-you!<br />R.semmens-wheeler@sussex.ac.uk<br />
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Effects of Alcohol on Hypnotic Experience

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Effects of Alcohol on Hypnotic Experience

  1. 1. Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler, ZoltanDienes, Theodora Duka<br />University of Sussex<br />Alcohol Increases Hypnotic Susceptibility<br />Toward a Science of Consciousness, 2011<br />
  2. 2. A brief introduction to hypnosis<br />Hypnotic experiences are characterised by having one or both of two fundamental qualities:<br />They feel subjectively real, as in the case of cognitive suggestions such as hallucinations<br />They feel involuntary, as in the case of motor suggestions, such as ‘magnetic hands’.<br />There may be different underlying mechanisms and thus contributing factors involved in different types of hypnotic suggestions, and individuals may create the experience in different ways.<br />(Barnier, Dienes & Mitchell, 2009)<br />
  3. 3. Neuro-cognitive theories<br />Dissociated control:<br />Executive functions (SAS, located in the prefrontal cortex) dissociated from contention scheduling system (Farvolden & Woody, 2004)<br />Subject loses control and becomes dependent on ‘automatic processes’.<br />Hypnotic responding results from exhaustion of frontal lobe functions <br /> (Crawford and Gruzelier, 1992)<br />
  4. 4. Socio-cognitive theories<br />Hypnotic responses are not really involuntary, they just feel as though they are.<br />Response expectancy; experience of volition is imposed after the action (Kirsch and Lynn, 1999)<br />Rapport, absorption and imaginative susceptibility (discrepancy-attribution theory; Barnier et al, 2008)<br />Motivation (Gfeller et.al. 1987)<br />Absorption (Semmens-Wheeler & Dienes, 2010; Tellegen, 1982)<br />Fantasy-proneness (Barber & Wilson, 1983)<br />
  5. 5. Higher Order Thought TheoryDavid Rosenthal (1986,2005)<br />A conscious mental state is a mental state of which we are conscious<br /> We are conscious of things, states, etc by thinking or perceiving that they exist<br />A mental state is conscious when we think we are in that state, i.e., when we have a HOT.<br />
  6. 6. Distinguish first order content <br />‘The tree is green’<br />from second order content:<br /> ‘I see that the tree is green’<br /> Second order content is required for mental states to be conscious!<br />Similarly for intentions....<br />
  7. 7. HOTs<br />“I think I am intending to lift my arm”<br />“Lift the arm!”<br />“I am intending to lift my arm”<br />Unconscious mental state<br />Conscious mental state<br />Conscious of…<br />Or aware of…<br />Introspectively aware of …<br />Consciously aware of…<br />
  8. 8. Note:<br />“Executive control” (e.g. overcoming habit) can be unconscious on HOT theory<br />Because we could have an intention producing the control in principle without having an HOT about having that intention. <br />This contradicts the common assumption in the literature (and our intuition – we feel that we have free will)<br />
  9. 9. Cold Control TheoryZoltanDienes and Josef Perner(2007) <br />Executive control without awareness<br />Hypnosis requires inaccurate or absent HOTs<br />I.e. Create an intention to lift the arm, but unaware of intention<br /> “My arm must be rising by itself!”<br />
  10. 10. Effects of Alcohol on the Frontal Lobes<br />Alcohol impairs the frontal lobes (Suzuki and Amaral,1994) and associated executive functions (Weissenborn & Duka, 2002). <br />If alcohol increases hypnotic susceptibility, then this would implicate some role of the frontal lobes in hypnotic responding.<br />
  11. 11. Method<br />Participants: 32 ‘mediums’ from Sussex University<br />Half were given alcohol (0.8g/kg) and half were given a placebo.<br />Response expectancy (Y/N) and confidence ratings (1-4)<br />Subjective experience ratings (0-5)<br />Drunkenness scale (pre & post alcohol)<br />Letter fluency (pre & post alcohol)<br />Stop signal task (post alcohol)<br />
  12. 12. Suggestions<br />Magnetic hands (easy motor)<br />Heavy arm (easy motor)<br />Rigid arm (challenge motor)<br />Arm immobilisation (challenge motor)<br />Negative hallucination (challenge cognitive)<br />Post-hypnotic amnesia (challenge cognitive)<br />Mosquito hallucination (cognitive)<br />Post-hypnotic movement (cognitive)<br />Sour taste (cognitive)<br />
  13. 13. Letter Fluency Task<br />Participants who had drunk alcohol performed significantly worse after drinking their drinks on the letter fluency task than those who had been given placebo.<br /> (t = 2.14, p = .02, 95% CI LL: .38, UL: 5.3<br /> Alcohol group M = -3.34, SD = 2.6<br /> Placebo group M = -0.5, SD = 4.43<br />
  14. 14. Subjective Hypnotic Responding<br />Participants who had drunk alcohol responded more, according to their subjective ratings of each suggestion, than participants who had been given placebo drinks <br />(t = 2-3.2, p = .003, 95% CI LL: -12.29, UL: -2.71). <br />Alcohol group: M = 25.2, SD = 6.4, <br />Placebo group: M = 17.7, SD = 6.9<br />
  15. 15. Expectancy<br />Expectancy correlated positively with subjective responses across both groups<br /> Pearson’s r = .55, p <.001.<br />
  16. 16. The Effects of alcohol on hypnosis<br />Mean Score<br />
  17. 17. Conclusions and future directions<br />Alcohol increases hypnotic susceptibility.<br />The effect of alcohol on hypnotic responding implies involvement of the frontal lobes in hypnotic responding.<br />Response expectancy plays a role in subjective hypnotic experience. <br />
  18. 18. Next time you’re drunk, find a hypnotist!<br />
  19. 19. Thank-you!<br />R.semmens-wheeler@sussex.ac.uk<br />

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