chapter  Conclusion
4 Pages

Some further reflections on hypnosis

ByLawrence Goldie, Jane Desmarais

The current literature on brain scanning and hypnosis indicates that the brain activity is in no way exceptional during hypnosis—there is activity but it is nothing unusual and represents the brain in the waking state. The scientific consensus regarding the suppression of pain in the hypnotised subject is that the pathways to the cerebrum which carry the pain signals to the brain are blocked by hypnosis. The biochemical basis of neural activity is currently high on the agenda of neuroscientists, and the extreme materialist position of many neuroscientists is that there is a science of the unconscious, in other words that all mental disorders are brain disorders. Complementarity was a principle that guided research and thinking in the 1950s and 60s when medical science was learning how to use the electroencephalograph for greatest effect. It became a practical measure by the 1970s enable to explore some of the complexities of the human body under physical duress.