Document Detail

Hypnosis, memory and amnesia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9415925     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Hypnotized subjects respond to suggestions from the hypnotist for imaginative experiences involving alterations in perception and memory. Individual differences in hypnotizability are only weakly related to other forms of suggestibility. Neuropsychological speculations about hypnosis focus on the right hemisphere and/or the frontal lobes. Posthypnotic amnesia refers to subjects' difficulty in remembering, after hypnosis, the events and experiences that transpired while they were hypnotized. Posthypnotic amnesia is not an instance of state-dependent memory, but it does seem to involve a disruption of retrieval processes similar to the functional amnesias observed in clinical dissociative disorders. Implicit memory, however, is largely spared, and may underlie subjects' ability to recognize events that they cannot recall. Hypnotic hypermnesia refers to improved memory for past events. However, such improvements are illusory: hypermnesia suggestions increase false recollection, as well as subjects' confidence in both true and false memories. Hypnotic age regression can be subjectively compelling, but does not involve the ablation of adult memory, or the reinstatement of childlike modes of mental functioning, or the revivification of memory. The clinical and forensic use of hypermnesia and age regression to enhance memory in patients, victims and witnesses (e.g. recovered memory therapy for child sexual abuse) should be discouraged.
J F Kihlstrom
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences     Volume:  352     ISSN:  0962-8436     ISO Abbreviation:  Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  1997 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-01-28     Completed Date:  1998-01-28     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503623     Medline TA:  Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1727-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, MC 1650, University of California, Berkeley 94720-1650, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Memory / physiology*
Grant Support

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