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Synaesthesia-type associations and perceptual changes induced by hypnotic suggestion
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience)
Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 17310Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Are synaesthetic experiences congenital and so hard-wired, or can a functional analogue be created? We induced an equivalent of form-colour synaesthesia using hypnotic suggestions in which symbols in an array (circles, crosses, squares) were suggested always to have a certain colour. In a Stroop type-naming task, three of the four highly hypnotizable participants showed a strong synaesthesia-type association between symbol and colour. This was verified both by their subjective reports and objective eye-movement behaviour. Two resembled a projector-and one an associator-type synaesthete. Participant interviews revealed that subjective experiences differed somewhat from typical (congenital) synaesthesia. Control participants who mimicked the task using cognitive strategies showed a very different response pattern. Overall, the results show that the targeted, preconsciously triggered associations and perceptual changes seen in association with congenital synaesthesia can rapidly be induced by hypnosis. They suggest that each participant's subjective experience of the task should be carefully evaluated, especially when studying hypnotic hallucinations. Studying such experiences can increase understanding of perception, automaticity, and awareness and open unique opportunities in cognitive neuroscience and consciousness research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2017. Vol. 7, article id 17310
Keyword [en]
Hypnosis, Synaesthesia, attention, Color perception, Automaticity
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology Neurosciences
Research subject
Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14606DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-16174-yISI: 000417570500029PubMedID: 29229939OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14606DiVA, id: diva2:1169557
Available from: 2017-12-28 Created: 2017-12-28 Last updated: 2018-02-16Bibliographically approved

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