Can hypnosis displace the threshold for visual consciousness?

These studies investigated the effect of posthypnotic suggestion on peripheral visual inattention. Participants sat in a dim-lit room with a headset and an LCD. A chinrest was fitted 60cm from the screen and random numbers were flashed on the screen in central or peripheral areas of vision. The experiment was conducted on subjects with high and low scores of hypnotic susceptibility. Subjects were given suggestions for narrowing of visual focus and the ignoring of any activity in the peripheral vison outside central area of focus.

Finding 1: The contrast between the High and Low sociability showed that posthypnotic suggestion was able to hamper the Highs ability to perceive peripheral visual stimulus.

Finding 2: In a further ‘priming’ experiment where peripheral stimulus was able to affect attention to central focus in the Lows showed that no such effect was observed in Highs.

Finding 3: In a further ‘discrimination’ experiment the Highs performed equally as well as the Lows in recognising the peripheral stimulus indicating the Highs were still perceiving the peripheral stimulus, but the posthypnotic suggestion was causing them to ignore it.

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