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Conscious Cogn. 2012 Sep;21(3):1097-108. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.04.002. Epub 2012 May 3.

Individual differences and state effects on mind-wandering: hypnotizability, dissociation, and sensory homogenization.

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Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP), Department of Psychology, Lund University, Sweden.


Consciousness alterations can be experienced during unstructured, monotonous stimuli. These effects have not been linked to particular cognitive operations; individual differences in response to such stimulation remain poorly understood. We examined the role of hypnotizability and dissociative tendencies in mind-wandering (MW) during a sensory homogenization procedure (ganzfeld). We expected that the influence of ganzfeld on MW would be more pronounced among highly hypnotizable individuals (highs), particularly those high in dissociative tendencies. High and low hypnotizables, also stratified by dissociation, completed the sustained attention to response task during ganzfeld and control conditions. High dissociative highs made more commission errors during ganzfeld, suggesting increased MW, whereas the other groups displayed the opposite pattern. Increases in commission errors from the control condition to ganzfeld were associated with more alterations in consciousness and negative affect, but only among highs. Sensory homogenization had opposite effects on MW depending on the interaction of hypnotizability and dissociation.

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