Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What? I Can't Remember

Now I just sat down and knew what I was going to write. It was there on the edge of my mind waiting to spew forth, but now it is gone...wait...it was...no...oh....shoot. It really is gone.

Not really, just a tacky way to segway into the topic of the morning, though this is a tad bit of old news. It is true. Really, I am not kidding. Hypnosis can cause you to forget certain things. Hmmm. Don't we already know this? Perhaps not. Perhaps we do not know the half of it.

In a recent study conducted by Dr Yadin Dudai and peers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, when amnesia is induced with a posthypnotic suggestion, an internal monitoring system is what causes the memory not to be retrieved.

How the study was done:
A group of volunteers (in Isreal) were shown a movie documentary about the day in the life of a young woman. A week later they were hypnotized to forget the movie. Actually the words used in the Daily Mail were " Once in a hypnotic state, subjects were ordered to forget the movie." Now kids, what form of hypnosis is that? (The first person to respond in the comment section and get it right will get 50 entrecard credits).

Apparently, the original group had been divided into two sections - one group was hypnotizable and the other was not. Hmmmm, again. Was this really a division of people who were hypnotizable by a certain form of hypnosis? Might they all be hypnotizable (assuming they wanted to be, yahda, yahda, yahda) with a more permissive form of hypnosis? Any thoughts?

To carry on though - the half deemed hypnotizable were more apt to forget the movie. Each was given a quiz of yes or no answers. The results were no better than chance with the suggestion to forget the movie. Then a trigger
- Now you can remember everything (2), which was given during the hypnotic session, was was activated and the same participants retook the quiz. The results at this point were 80% correct answers.

cortex. This is the area mainly We are not through yet, though. While participants were taking the quiz, they were also being monitered by MRIs. While in the state of suppressed memories, the occipital and temporal lobes remained quiet. At the same time, there was major activity in parts of the prefrontalthougth to be involved with memory retrieval. This may show an interaction between the two, which the prefrontal areas control

Another question I have is the whole idea of the movie itself. Since I have not seen it, it is described as the average, mundane day in the life story, perhaps easily forgettable. I am not sure even without the hypnosis, how well I might remember it in a week.

The Daily Mail
ScienceNOW Daily News


paranoidandroid said...

Sounds like Authoritative Hypnosis to me. And an utter pointless experiment, given the questionable definition of the control group and forgettable source material.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Awesome! You got it. Thanks for reading!

Avi said...

Well actually, you got the control group wrong. Both groups underwent hypnosis and received the suggestion to forget, but only posthypnotic susceptible participants were affected by it.
btw, without hypnosis, memory performance for the movie is around eighty percent.
If you want, Ill send you the article.
thanks for your interest.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Thanks for writing Avi. Perhaps I was not clear. Yes, both groups were hypnotized, but it is good to make the distinction of "posthypnotic susceptible."

Interesting about the 80 percent memory retention without hypnosis. It makes sense. For when they removed the posthypnotic suggestion from the participants this is the same.

"As the researchers had hoped, the hypnosis triggered memory suppression. After the subjects woke up, they took a quiz about the activities of the woman in the movie. They performed no better than chance, answering only half of the yes-no questions correctly. Immediately afterward, the volunteers heard the magic phrase and took the quiz again. This time they averaged about 80% correct, the same as a control group that wasn't susceptible to posthypnotic amnesia."ScienceNow Daily News.

Feel free to send the article. Were you involved with the study?

Avi said...

you can find the article at:

I'd be glad to hear your comments about it.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Avi - This is awesome. Thank you so much for sending this.

Anyone else reading this, READ THE ARTICLE! It is the actual research from the research team,of which Avi is a member, yes?