Hypnosis found to alter the brain

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Subjects see color where none exists

“Hypnosis has a contentious history,” notes Stephen Kosslyn, professor of psychology at Harvard and leader of a study in which people were hypnotized to see color where only shades of gray exist, and to see gray when actually looking at brightly colored rectangles. “Some insist it’s a state of mind that differs from normal states and involves unique consequences; others say it’s nothing more than state-show gimmickry. It all comes down to the question of whether the brain is doing something different.” The answer apparently is yes, at least in the case of color perception. “What we have shown for the first time,” Kosslyn concludes, “is that hypnosis changes conscious experience in a way not possible when we are not under hypnosis.”