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Hypnotic Suggestion and the Modulation
of Stroop Interference
Amir Raz, PhD; Theodore Shapiro, MD; Jin Fan, PhD; Michael I. Posner, PhD

Background: Hypnosis has been used clinically for hun- Results: Whereas posthypnotic suggestion eliminated
dreds of years and is primarily a phenomenon involving Stroop interference for highly suggestible subjects, less
attentive receptive concentration. Cognitive science has suggestible control subjects showed no significant re-
not fully exploited hypnosis and hypnotic suggestion as duction in the interference effect.
experimental tools. This study was designed to deter-
mine whether a hypnotic suggestion to hinder lexical pro- Conclusions: This outcome challenges the dominant
cessing could modulate the Stroop effect. view that word recognition is obligatory for proficient
readers, and may provide insight into top-down influ-
Methods: Behavioral Stroop data were collected from 16 ences of suggestion on cognition.
highly suggestible and 16 less suggestible subjects; both
naturally vigilant and under posthypnotic suggestion. Sub-
jects were urged to only attend to the ink color and to im-
pede reading the stimuli under posthypnotic suggestion. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59:1155-1161

N THE CLASSIC Stroop task, expe- tomaticity is implicit in the relative speed
rienced readers are asked to name of processing hypothesis. Both hypoth-
the ink color of a colored word.1 eses assume that word reading occurs even
In responding to the ink color of though the meaning of the word is to be
an incompatible color word (eg, disregarded. Both place the locus of inter-
the word BLUE displayed in red ink), sub- ference at the output stage and can be con-
jects are usually much slower and less ac- sidered variants of “response competi-
curate than in identifying the ink color of tion” explanations.
a control item (eg, XXXX or SHIP printed These 2 accounts are comple-
in red). This is called the Stroop Interfer- mented by additional versions. Semantic
ence Effect (SIE), and it is one of the most similarity between relevant and irrel-
robust and well-studied phenomena in at- evant stimulus dimensions has been shown
tentional research.2,3 Reading words is con- to determine the amount of elicited inter-
sidered to be automatic; a proficient reader ference.9 Recent studies have also chal-
cannot withhold accessing a word’s mean- lenged the response-competition hypoth-
ing, despite explicit instructions to at- esis.10 In fact, experimental assays, which
tend only to the ink color. Indeed, the stan- manipulated the stimulus onset asyn-
dard account in the word recognition and chrony11,12 and the speed of processing,13
Stroop literature maintains that words are diverge from simple relative speed of pro-
processed automatically to the semantic cessing explanations and make the paral-
level3,4 and that the SIE is therefore the lel processing accounts of the Stroop effect
“gold standard” of automated perfor- seem more viable than the serial process-
mance.5 ing accounts.2,3,14,15
There are 2 classic theoretical ac- Hypnosis relates to other self-
counts of the Stroop effect.2,3 First, the rela- regulation techniques (eg, meditation and
tive speed of processing or “horse race” hy- imagery) in that it evokes a form of highly
pothesis6 suggests that word reading is concentrated attention. Hypnosis is
faster than color naming.7 A second ac- primarily associated with attentive-
From the Sackler Institute for count, the automaticity hypothesis,8 pos- receptive absorption and is characterized
Developmental Psychobiology, tulates that word reading interferes with by extreme focused attention as well as by
Weill Medical College of the more effortful, attention-demanding heightened compliance with sugges-
Cornell University, process of color naming. These 2 ac- tion.16-18 Hypnotic susceptibility scales in-
New York, NY. counts are similar because the idea of au- dicate the quantifiable rating of a sub-


©2002 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

DEC 2002 WWW. Sixteen hypnosis subjects (8 female.ject’s response to suggestions under standard conditions. Rather. Thus.3 years) naı̈ve to the Stroop task.” “B. away or blurring vision.9° hori- thermore. a reliable differ. duced for the highly suggestible. session.5° vertically. which directed subjects not to read mean.18 Specifically. a neu- plicit attentional strategies seem to obviate the prepotent tral condition consisting of a neutral word inked in any one of inclination to read in the highly suggestible. of $30 per hour. Sun found that the SIE was significantly re. 4 nonnative) scoring in ture. using a sub- investigate the modulation of attentional networks and jective behavioral indicant and by recruiting hypnosis as top-down control via hypnosis and suggestion. In gen- fied as either “high” or “low.26 since in light of inconsistent data attempt. and FLOWER).26 tion time [RT] and higher accuracy) commonly associ- other recent data suggest that hypnotic instruction for ated with congruent trials. Al- controlled processing. SIE was reduced when subjects were in. Subjects were recruited from a pool of 75 vol- ingful words (see “Methods” section). notic context. Sun37 found no difference Subjects sat at a viewing distance of approximately 65 cm in in the SIE between highly and less suggestible sub.” (REPRINTED) ARCH GEN PSYCHIATRY/ VOL 59. blue. 24.”20 but such terminological variations are often used words more automatically than the less suggestible. no effect on the less suggestible. Whereas there are no substantial cor.28-31 remove the SIE for highly suggestible subjects.23 Some clinicians practicing hyp. monly vigilant. dition consisting of a color word inked in its own color. NY) who had earlier been in- gestible subjects to be compliant with the suggestion made dividually screened for suggestibility in a hypnotic context us- during the hypnotic experience following the hypnotic ing the SHSS-C19 (absent the anosmia to ammonia challenge).37 Hence. BLUE.” Some researchers prefer eral. and an incongruent condition consisting of a color word inked in any of the 3 colors (eg. and 16 control subjects (7 female. front of a color computer monitor. Subjects consisted of 32 proficient readers of English (mean ing to modulate the SIE through hypnotic manipulation age. the highly suggestible subjects processed ity.39 Both studies showed that when ing. The current study is a “mirror image” of that by METHODS Kosslyn et al. the present study did not instruct subjects to fol- sures.18 Al. we speculated color blindness did not inhibit the SIE27 (note earlier at. and 1.36 On the other hand. hypnotic suggestions containing ex.37 but Sheehan et al36 found a bigger SIE for the highly word written in one of 4 ink colors (red. rable efforts in the auditory modality33.22.32 or compa.3° to 1.19 one’s hypnotic suggestibility can be classi. 4 nonnative) scor- The Stroop effect is not new to the hypnosis litera. 8 male. All rights reserved. the goal of the present nosis suggest that when a highly suggestible person is study was to establish whether a simple strategy-free post- hypnotized. were recruited for further participation. extending their earlier study. KNIFE.35 Sheehan et al also reported that the SIE was magnified under sug. zontally (depending on word length). All characters were displayed in upper-case font against a white background. subtended visual angles of 0. In contrast to these studies of the SIE during hyp- relates of hypnotic suggestibility with personality mea.ARCHGENPSYCHIATRY. using a “strategy free” modified though button pressing reduces effect size relative to vocal nam- Stroop procedure. of Cornell University. ence between highly suggestible and less suggestible In the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale Form C subjects was apparent: the highly suggestible showed (SHSS-C). the less-suggestible range (2-3 of a possible 11) on the SHSS-C sis (without suggestion). black fixation cross was visible.34). Blum and Graef35 first reported that under hypno. or yel- suggestible. but not for the less sug. using sug- gestion outside of hypnosis.COM 1156 ©2002 American Medical Association. faster reac- tion was successfully affected by hypnotic suggestion.24. SHIP. the SIE was bigger in highly sug. The color-labeled response keys were “V.25 Our aim was to determine whether it would be possible The Stroop paradigm provides a promising way to to obviate the pervasiveness of word reading. we opted for it because of its relative merit in a sequel neu- strategic influences were minimized. where a seem to display increased SIE compared with less sug. these findings proposed that outside of the hyp- to use hypnotic “suggestibility” over “hypnotizabil. Stimuli consisted of a single jects. New York.36 Using a comparable the latter class being frequency-matched as well as length- strategy. . but have negative visual hallucination.27-31 we instead used a posthypnotic ticipate in this study in exchange for an average compensation suggestion. roimaging assay. MATERIALS gestion-free hypnosis. Three experimental conditions were used: a congruent con- gestible. attentional and perceptual changes may oc. green. with letter of the word to be ignored. ing in the highly suggestible range (10-11 of a possible 11).38 looked at in green) other than the one to which it referred. Furthermore. unteers (mostly medical students at the Weill Medical College ous research with hypnosis. During each highly vs less suggestible subjects outside of hypnosis trial. and the stimuli gestible subjects under suggestion-free hypnosis. subjects were asked to indicate the ink color in which a word and explored the interaction between automatic and was written by depressing one of 4 keys on a keyboard. we expected the highly sug. and YELLOW) and to covertly attend to the bottom portion of the last and neutral words (LOT. nosis. GREEN. Lastly. 9 male. tively modulate the SIE within a classical Stroop design. we would show that a neural process as low-level as color percep. the color word BLUE inked and Laurence. Fur. that the specific suggestion would reduce or completely tempts at hypnotic suggestions for color blindness.21 response expectancy does correlate reliably with low a variation of a peripheral strategy such as looking hypnotic suggestibility. gestible as compared with less suggestible. an attentional manipulation. no longer observe the relative advantage (ie. matched to the color words. Dixon the 4 colors. interchangeably. Based on previ. larger Stroop effects than the less suggestible. some highly suggestible individuals low) appearing at the center of the computer screen. who agreed to par- of color perception. but not to remember the instruction. and agnosia. we hypoth- though neuroimaging data reported by Kosslyn et al26 esized that if this instruction were effective. hypnotic suggestion to circumvent reading could effec- cur that would not have occurred had one been com. Two classes of words structed to shift their gaze away from the displayed word were used: color words (RED.

congruent.ARCHGENPSYCHIATRY. screen replacing the crosshair. Table 1 presents the mean RT and mean error scores Thirty-two practice trials preceded the first session for each for the 2 attentional conditions (ie. ms Error. and you will not errors. respectively. and with “posthypnotic-suggestion” (ab. This gibber- tively. highly or less suggestible) were first run on the vance in the following manner: preceding the experiment. neutral. each group (ie.” and “M” for the colors red. respec. This approach was not consis- rally alert (N) and a posthypnotized (PH) condition. congruent. ing process of trial and repetition. when subjects regained their natu- “CORRECT” or “INCORRECT” was flashed in black ink). This training session was used to confirm that sub. incon. “group” (highly or less suggestible) and “order” (naturally alert→posthypnotized. % RT. Approximately 1. One-third of all trials were neutral. Stroop) with the experimenter present in the room. subjects were simply instructed to foveate (ie. blue. Speed and accuracy were emphasized equally. Incorrect responses were excluded from the and accurately. Table 1. and respond quickly ject groups. or yellow. Your job is DESIGN AND PROCEDURE to quickly and accurately depress the key that corre- sponds to the ink color shown. Following a standard Stanford variations on less specific instructions. A stimulus would then appear on the sponse to the ink color of the stimuli. green. suggestible and less-suggestible subjects. . subjects took a short break and then completed 144 experimental tri. “N. and yellow. All rights reserved. analyses. present) and “congruency” (congruent.COM 1157 ©2002 American Medical Association. respectively. Administration order (N→PH vs PH→N) was coun. % RT. ible subjects that they would see letters and not know that they tor in the sense that all subjects participated in both a natu. Subjects were told that hypnotic inductions and sug. the fixation cross was redisplayed at the center for a variable du- ration contingent on the subject’s RT. At this point. you will look straight at the scrambled signs and crisply see all of them. You will find that you The experimental design was a mixed factorial model with can play this game easily and effortlessly. posthypnotic suggestion was made iar foreign language seemed plausible to the subjects. text. meaningless symbols will appear in the Table 3 summarizes the analysis of variance analy- middle of the screen. the symbols’ ink color. under PH. separately displaying RT and foreign language that you do not know.5% of all the data gruent. neutral. The following posthypnotic suggestion was verbally pre. notic-suggestion sessions. ms Error. an Stroop task following hypnosis induction with the previously experimenter notified the subjects that the purpose of the study mentioned posthypnotic suggestion and then (after a 15- was to investigate the effects of suggestion on cognitive per. formed meaningful words. Initially.19 posthypnotic suggestion was a within-subject fac. and incongruent) for the 2 sub- colors to the appropriate response keys. in the reverse order. proficiently map the 4 (ie. Trial order was randomized throughout were excluded owing to deviant RTs for both the highly the experiment. der of the 2 experimental conditions. DEC 2002 WWW. minute break) when naturally alert in a common Stroop con- formance. below the mean. They will feel like characters of a ses of the data from Table 2. tently successful. a new stimu- lus appeared on the screen. green sponse keys (ie. The stimulus remained on the screen Interviews free of any hypnotic influence were con- for a maximum of 2 seconds or until subjects responded. and incon. Although you will only be able to attend to etc). blue. No sug. Table 2 presents subtractions of the various data sented to both highly suggestible and less-suggestible subjects from Table 1 to indicate the overall SIE (I-C) as well as subsequent to a standard hypnotic induction:19 the breakdown into interference (I-N) and facilitation Very soon you will be playing the computer game. cause the particular phrasing was the result of a tedious pilot- sent. left middle finger for V. right index finger for N. posthypnotized→naturally alert) as be. Subjects were randomly assigned to an administration or- terbalanced across groups. veridical visual feedback was provided (ie. I clap my hands. Half of the subjects in Informed consent was obtained from all subjects in ad. ish will be printed in one of 4 ink colors: red. attempt to attribute any meaning to them. The remaining subjects experienced these 2 conditions gestions would be administered at certain points during the ex. Following this brief training session. naturally alert vs subject. Fol. telling highly suggest- induction. and ral (nonhypnotic) attentiveness. (REPRINTED) ARCH GEN PSYCHIATRY/ VOL 59. as were RTs that were 3 SDs either above or als. we attempted to use gruent) as within-subject factors. posthypnotized) as a function of the 3 Stroop conditions jects were able to understand the task. but introducing the concept of an unfamil- gestion was made under N. ducted (and videotaped) immediately following the posthyp- lowing a response. % Highly suggestible subjects (n = 16) Absent 703 2 748 2 860 6 Present 664 2 671 2 669 2 Less suggestible subjects (n = 16) Absent 694 3 719 4 798 6 Present 687 3 721 6 808 7 *RT indicates reaction time. When not under the posthypnotic sug- periment and that they would be asked to play a computer game gestion condition. depress the ap- Subjects were instructed to focus their eyes on a fixation cross propriate keys) as quickly and as accurately as possible in re- at the center of the screen. on the center fixation cross and respond (ie. Two fingers of each hand were used to press these re. Mean Reaction Times and Error* Congruent Neutral Incongruent Group Posthypnotic Suggestion RT. When (N-C). again replacing the fixation cross and RESULTS beginning the next trial. The interstimulus interval was always 4 seconds (preparing for a follow-up neuroimaging design). The specific wording of this suggestion is significant be- tween-subject factors. ms Error.

and N-C. P⬍. it was not significant for reported awareness that words were sometimes flashed the less-suggestible group (F⬍1 for both).67.001 for I-C.09. for I-N). P=. P⬍. DEC 2002 WWW. (Note that the significant order main effect significantly on error performance as a function of sug- for Stroop facilitation has no interactions associated with gestion for interference (F1.05) appear in bold.36.84.001 for I-N).28 = 6. in an unknown foreign language” on the computer suggestion conditions (F1.28 = 17. P = . P = . on the screen. P⬍. these comparisons showed that whereas suggestible subjects reported having seen only “colored the SIE differential was highly significant when contrast.50. but that they could ignore reading them ally.13.” or “words ing the highly suggestible subjects between the 2 hypnotic.28 = 1.32.COM 1158 ©2002 American Medical Association. ther investigate the results.16 for I-C. P⬍. RT ANALYSIS sons showed that the performance differential was sig- nificant for the high-suggestible group between the Inspection of the main effects showed that posthyp. the SIE can be removed. P⬍.001) for I-N).30 = 11.36.28 = 10. I-N. incongruent-congruent. notic suggestion caused a significant reduction in Stroop P =.206 F1.159 Order ⫻ Group ⫻ F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F1.” “gibberish. P⬍. a carefully crafted suggestion (containing no reference (REPRINTED) ARCH GEN PSYCHIATRY/ VOL 59.002).28 = 2.56. neutral-congruent. suggestion conditions for interference (F1. and N-C.35.28 = 1. P = .28 = 5.05 F1.42. P=.24).80. Statistically significant effects (ie.005 F1. incongruent-neutral. P⬍.37.10). Analysis of Variance Main Effects and Interactions* RT Error Effect (I-C) (I-N) (N-C) (I-C) (I-N) (N-C) Order F⬍1 F⬍1 F1. P = . I-C. Table 2.05 F⬍1 F1.28 = 1.237 Group F1.84.136 F1. effect has been considered a prime case of attentional con- cating that interference and facilitation were completely trol in processing sensory input.40.185 F⬍1 F⬍1 Suggestion *Effects and interactions apply to the data in Table 2 under the experimental design.28 = 2. P=. Table 3. Conversely. I-N. neutral-congruent. Considered with the data from Postexperimental interviews showed that 12 highly Tables 2 and 3.38.252 F1. in the absence of hypnotic suggestion there was no most of the time.30 = 29.134 F1.09.28 = 1. the performance dif- hypnotic suggestion. Specifically. incongruent-neutral.30 =16.28 = 6. and perfor- mance significantly enhanced by means of an atten- ERROR ANALYSIS tional manipulation (hypnosis) accompanied by a spe- cific posthypnotic suggestion to thwart reading. Tests of the RTs (Table 2) under posthypnotic sug. posthypnotic suggestion (F1.28 = 4. COMMENT F1. P = . sence of posthypnotic suggestion.124 F⬍1 F1. P = . In the ab- it and constitutes a practice effect not related to post.91.46. error values are percentages. I-C indicates incongruent-congruent. indi.054 Suggestion F1. P⬍. removed by the posthypnotic suggestion. for some subjects.ARCHGENPSYCHIATRY.72.28 = 2. Planned compari.88. Performance of the Stroop Congruency Subtractions* I-C I-N N-C Posthypnotic Group Suggestion Interference + Facilitation Error Interference Error Facilitation Error Highly suggestible subjects (n = 16) Absent 157 4 112 4 45 0 Present 5 0 −2 0 7 0 Less suggestible subjects (n = 16) Absent 104 3 79 2 25 1 Present 121 4 87 1 34 3 *Interference and/or facilitation values are in mean milliseconds.30 =1.001) for I-C screen.18 Interference in the stroop ther was significantly different from zero (F⬍1). the reported data show that hypnosis plus cantly reduced interference errors.28 = 12.05 F1.235 F⬍1 F1. but in the presence of hypnotic suggestion.51. P⬍. P⬍.” “scrambled symbols. The data indicate that. All rights reserved.28 = 2. P⬍. P = . P = . a significant effect was found (F1.) ference between the 2 groups was not significant for Since our hypotheses had been laid out before the interference (F⬍1) as was the case in the presence of the experiment. P = .28 = 5. P = . nitive studies of attention. The remaining 4 highly suggestible subjects F1. Conversely.05 F1.20.66.30 =16.28 = 1. F⬍1 stimuli.78. Addition.28 = 9.09. the less suggestible did not differ interference.01 F1. planned comparisons were performed to fur.159 Order ⫻ Group F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 Order ⫻ Suggestion F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 F⬍1 Group ⫻ Suggestion F1. P⬍.064 F1. Table 3 indicates how posthypnotic suggestion signifi.30 =2.47.28 = 2. This article follows our effort to relate hypnosis to cog- gestion in the highly suggestible group revealed that nei. images.05. RT indicates reaction time.005 F1. . P⬍.30 =21.28 = 3. P = . P = .30 =2.001 F1. all control (less suggest- significant SIE difference between highly suggestible and ible) subjects reported being cognizant of the word less suggestible subjects (F1.

complementing the present results. Dur- utter failure to perceive words) even for highly famil. nullifying the “relative advantage” (ie. suggest that spatial attention may play a critical role in tion of the operation of processing units along a path.ARCHGENPSYCHIATRY.59 and mental set60 is to serve as deter- present results show that as a consequence of the post. visual word recognition. nated. faster texts. been covertly used by the subjects. have shown that within particular (hypnosis-free) con- Interestingly. crisply as part of the posthypnotic suggestion). such findings. it may be that the hypnotized subjects attention can strikingly influence word reading as still instigated some strategy while performing the pres- well. Since hypnosis is of the screen. ing the postexperimental interviews. ent experimental task. this trend less. some reports strongly early model is that attention is realized as the modula. not only was the tradi. trolled process can be derailed by relatively simple means. but so was facilitation. The effects of changes in the distribution effect using spreading activation along pathways of dif. minants in SIE elicitation. not only was the SIE removed in that diverting gaze away from the stimuli. POTENTIAL STRATEGIES tional resources and word recognition. it was not significantly cepted construct of automatic. Nonethe- hypothesis that lexical processing was impeded). All rights reserved. sults might hold important implications for neurocog- nitive investigations of the interaction between atten. The traditional SIE is understood to indicate that one can- Experimental order (ie.COM 1159 ©2002 American Medical Association. Similarly. in the Stroop literature that skilled readers obligatorily gestion for the highly suggestible (consistent with our process printed stimuli presented to the fovea. and suggest that these processes Performance analysis further showed that the highly sug. Rees et al42 reported inattentional blindness (ie. and that tested under posthypnotic suggestion or while natu. recent reports was not elicited from the less suggestible (see Table 1).40 the tional strategies58. current theories of the SIE are incompatible with der posthypnotic suggestion. the involvement of attention in word reading warrants closer Sheehan et al36 found the SIE to be increased in the highly scrutiny. Whereas the experimental instructions explicitly di- ing to it. word representations. only for the incongruent particular congruent to incongruent trial ratio can all sig- trials was a significant difference obtained. the symbols comprising the stimuli shown at the center ters entirely depended on a specific attentional strategy) can obviate the effect REDUCING AND REMOVING THE STROOP of automatic word reading and suffice to eliminate the INTERFERENCE EFFECT SIE in operationally defined highly suggestible profi- cient English readers. Although sion. . attention when a single letter position in a colored word is pre- may play a pivotal role in modulating the ballistic na.41 recent functional imaging data indicate that egies on the SIE. Additionally. DEC 2002 WWW. subjects could look straight at a word without attend. these findings seem to suggest subjects may be successful in deceiving themselves). suggestible under hypnosis unless special instructions Not only is attention known to modulate the were given to overcome the effect. By creating a situation in which lus and universally denied use of alternative strategies. 2 are most likely: fo- In one parallel distributed processing model. Evidently. the SIE can also be significantly reduced or elimi- RT and higher accuracy) of the congruent trials as a func. cusing visual gaze away from the central target. are perhaps malleable to the point of elimination. tation (N-C) is not always evident in color Stroop There is little disagreement that the role of atten- paradigms in which manual responses are used. there is widespread accord across the 3 Stroop conditions under posthypnotic sug. concentrating on a single letter within a word stimu- performance accuracy was increased on all conditions un. it is well known hypnotic suggestion. involuntary activation of different from the RT trend acquired while naturally alert. Rees et al showed that brain activity in rected subjects to “look straight at” and “crisply see” all response to recognizable visual words vs random let. and blur- hen et al15 suggested a connectionist account of the Stroop ring of vision. that word reading was effectively prevented under the Attempting to reconstruct strategies that may have posthypnotic-suggestion condition. Analysis of the RT data showed that whereas the SIE is a vigorous attentional phenomenon and is dif- responses were both collectively faster and comparable ficult to reduce by practice.43-54 Although critiqued on multiple aspects.61 Besner and Stolz46 reported way. cued (hence the importance that all letters are seen ture of word reading. whether subjects were first not screen perfectly for only what is relevant. although facili. of spatial attention have largely been neglected in the ferent strengths. Video- (REPRINTED) ARCH GEN PSYCHIATRY/ VOL 59. even without instructions. and employing a der posthypnotic suggestion. thus making attention inherent to the model. nificantly affect the SIE. deed. concurrent processing of irrelevant information takes place rally alert) did not significantly affect the experimental even if this is unfavorable to the task at hand. These re. taken together easily ruled out (ie. speeding or slowing of response. nonetheless. In light of these data activity of evoked visual stimuli within early brain and the literature examining the effects of various strat- areas. lus. subjects reported iar and meaningful stimuli when looked at directly at that they had indeed observed all symbols within a stimu- the center of gaze. Because outcome. Indeed. Such results put forth a challenge to the commonly ac- hypnotic suggestion condition. tional SIE present for the less suggestible within the post. and that the SIE can be reduced in magnitude or removed not an external element applied to it.55-57 these tion of posthypnotic suggestion was also consistent with reports suggest that a seemingly unconsciously con- error performance. it is perhaps plausible that hypnotic with the present data. Co. In- gestible made significantly fewer interference errors un. As expected. blurring vi- the highly suggestible. recruitment of covert strategies cannot be likely to propel an attentional gradient. A particularly attractive feature of this Stroop literature.

Singer W. ible subjects as compared with controls. 34. subjects unmistakably focusing on the central target.22: 2. Interdimensional interference in the Stroop effect: 615-621. (e-mail: amr2006@med. 30. word recognition is obligatory for all proficient readers and 10:622-639. indicating that 11. Spiegel. ed. Raz A. 29. 1978. 150-157. 18:643-661. An appropriate study is cur. 24. 10. Int 4:383-391. Hypnosis and neuroscience: a cross talk between clinical and vented activation of prestriate areas related to process. An online technique (eg. ing color. struction not to see the stimulus as a meaningful word 23. McCandliss. Hypnotic color blindness and the Stroop test. Wash- Finally. Heidi E. the tem.” J Gen Psychol.285:46-49. 1974. Neuron. Graef JR. rently underway to explore this question. received January 25. Stroop interference and color-word similarity. Ma. 1971. Silva CE. Neely JH. Attention and cognitive control. 1984. Hypnotic hallucination alters evoked Submitted for publication November 2. 1987. final revision potentials. Linden DE. Cognit Psychol. Glaser MO. MacLeod CM. 1999. Am J Psychiatry. I: the use of the Ishi- versity. Where the imaginal appears real: a positron emission tomography study of auditory hallucinations. of the prestriate visual system (visual word form). 1940. Bierre P.8:875-894. BA.26 The processing of printed words involves areas Palo Alto. Cohen JD. DEC 2002 WWW. 1990. We already have ini.109:163-203. may allow insight into the top-down influences exerted 14. J Exp Psychol. Spiegel D. Cutcomb S. Harvey MA.146:749-754. and hypno- and Jessica M. Nash MR. this article. Am J Clin Hypn. 1942. Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. ment of Psychiatry. In- ally have the image fall either in front of or behind the formation Processing and Cognition: The Loyola Symposium. Hypnotic induction of color vision anomalies. 1989. Psychol Sci. 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