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Conscious Cogn. 2014 May;26:24-36. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.02.008. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Using suggestion to model different types of automatic writing.

Author information

1
King's College London, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, London, SE5 8AF, UK; Cultural and Social Neuroscience Research Group, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Kings College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK. Electronic address: eamonn.walsh@kcl.ac.uk.
2
Cultural and Social Neuroscience Research Group, Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK; Cultural and Social Neuroscience Research Group, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Kings College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
3
Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, London, UK; School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
4
Stonehill College, Easton, MA, USA.
5
King's College London, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, London, SE5 8AF, UK.
6
School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
7
King's College London, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, London, SE5 8AF, UK; Cultural and Social Neuroscience Research Group, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Kings College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.

Abstract

Our sense of self includes awareness of our thoughts and movements, and our control over them. This feeling can be altered or lost in neuropsychiatric disorders as well as in phenomena such as "automatic writing" whereby writing is attributed to an external source. Here, we employed suggestion in highly hypnotically suggestible participants to model various experiences of automatic writing during a sentence completion task. Results showed that the induction of hypnosis, without additional suggestion, was associated with a small but significant reduction of control, ownership, and awareness for writing. Targeted suggestions produced a double dissociation between thought and movement components of writing, for both feelings of control and ownership, and additionally, reduced awareness of writing. Overall, suggestion produced selective alterations in the control, ownership, and awareness of thought and motor components of writing, thus enabling key aspects of automatic writing, observed across different clinical and cultural settings, to be modelled.

KEYWORDS:

Alien control of movement; Awareness; Control; Hypnosis; Mediumship; Ownership; Thought insertion

PMID:
24657632
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2014.02.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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