Invited Symposium: Neural Bases of Hypnosis






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The Illusion of Remembering: A Neurophysiological Perspective

Dywan, J (Psychology Department, Brock University, Canada)

Contact Person: Jane Dywan (jdywan@spartan.ac.brocku.ca)


Recalling information in a hypnotic context increases the likelihood of a confabulated response. This phenomenon is usually attributed to a lowering of report criteria which implies that hypnotized individuals are more likely to report information in which they have little confidence. However, confidence for hypnotically generated recollections is usually very high. An alternative hypothesis is that the highly focused, imagistic involvement of the hypnotized subject during retrieval attempts enhances the vividness and ease with which self-generated items are experienced. This 'perceptual fluency' would result in an illusion of familiarity which can be interpreted as true recollection even when report criteria remain high. Differential patterns of electrophysiological response observed during a source monitoring task under full and divided attention conditions support this position. When active attentional control is diminished, not only are source errors more likely, but the cortical response to familiar but nontarget information is less inhibited. From a neurophysiological perspective, posteriorly-based imagistic involvement that occurs with a concomitant reduction in frontally-based attentional control will disrupt the frontal gating of posterior sensory-perceptual reactivity making false recollection more likely to occur.

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Presentation Number SAdywan0482
Keywords: hypnosis, memory, attention, ERPs, frontal lobe

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Dywan, J; (1998). The Illusion of Remembering: A Neurophysiological Perspective. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/woody/dywan0482/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright