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Abstract: Hypnosis appears to generate unusual—and sometimes even astonishing—changes in the contents of consciousness. Hypnotic subjects report perceiving things that are not there, they report not perceiving things that are there, and they report unusual alterations in the phenomenology of agency. In addition to apparent alterations in the contents of consciousness, hypnosis also appears to involve alterations in the structure of consciousness. According to many theorists—most notably Hilgard—hypnosis demonstrates that the unity of consciousness is an illusion (Hilgard 1977)
Abstract: O'Regan and Noe declare that the qualitative character of experience is constituted by the nature of the sensorimotor contingencies at play when we perceive. Sensorimotor contingencies are a highly restricted set of input-output relations. The restriction excludes contingencies that don’t essentially involve perceptual systems. Of course if the ‘sensory’ in ‘sensorimotor’ were to be understood mentalistically, the thesis would not be of much interest, so I assume that these contingencies are to be understood non-mentalistically. Contrary to their view, experience is a matter of what mediates between input and output, not input-output relations all by themselves. However, instead of mounting a head-on collision with their view, I think it will be more useful to consider a consequence of their view that admits of obvious counterexamples. The consequence consists of two claims: (1) any two systems that share that highly restricted set of input-output relations are therefor experientially the same and (2) conversely, any two systems that share experience must share these sensorimotor contingencies. Once stated, the view is so clearly wrong that my ascription of it to them might be challenged. At least it is a consequence of a major strand in their view. Perhaps this will be an opportunity for them to disassociate themselves from it. I will limit myself to (1)
Abstract: Consider Susan Hurley's depiction of mainstream views of the mind: "The mind is a kind of sandwich, and cognition is the filling" (p. 401). This particular sandwich (with perception as the bottom loaf and action as the top loaf) tastes foul to Hurley, who devotes most of "Consciousness in Action" to a systematic and sometimes extraordinarily detailed critique of what has otherwise been dubbed "classical" models of the mind. This critique then provides the basis for her alternative proposal, in which perception, action and environment are deeply intertwined
Abstract: Cortex functional connectivity associated with hypnosis was investigated in a single highly hypnotizable subject in a normal baseline condition
and under neutral hypnosis during two sessions separated by a year. After the hypnotic induction, but without further suggestions as compared to
the baseline condition, all studied parameters of local and remote functional connectivity were significantly changed. The significant differences
between hypnosis and the baseline condition were observable (to different extent) in five studied independent frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha,
beta, and gamma). The results were consistent and stable after 1 year. Based on these findings we conclude that alteration in functional connectivity of the brain may be regarded as a neuronal correlate of hypnosis (at least in very highly hypnotizable subjects) in which separate cognitive modules and subsystems may be temporarily incapable of communicating with each other normally.
Abstract: Cognitive functions associated with the frontal lobes of the brain may be specifi cally involved in hypnosis. Thus, the frontal area of the brain has recently been of great interest when searching for neural changes associated with hypnosis. We tested the hypothesis that EEG during pure hypnosis would differ from the normal non-hypnotic EEG especially
above the frontal area of the brain. The composition of brain oscillations was examined in a broad frequency band (130 Hz) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of a single virtuoso subject. Data was collected in two independent data collection periods separated by one year. The hypnotic and non-hypnotic conditions were repeated multiple times during each data acquisition session. We found that pure hypnosis induced reorganization in the composition of brain oscillations especially in prefrontal and right
occipital EEG channels. Additionally, hypnosis was characterized by consistent rightside-dominance asymmetry. In the prefrontal EEG channels the composition of brain oscillations included spectral patterns during hypnosis that were completely different from those observed during non-hypnosis. Furthermore, the EEG spectral patterns observed overall during the hypnotic condition did not return to the pre-hypnotic baseline EEG immediately when hypnosis was terminated. This suggests that for the brain, the return to a normal neurophysiological baseline condition after hypnosis is a time-consuming process. The present results suggest that pure hypnosis is characterized by an increase in alertness and heightened attention, refl ected as cognitive and neuronal activation. Taken together, the present data provide support for the hypothesis that in a very highly hypnotizable person (a hypnotic virtuoso) hypnosis as such may be accompanied by a changed pattern of neural activity in the brain.
Abstract: In Action in Perception, Alva Noë provides a persuasive account of the “enactive” approach to perception, according to which perception is not simply based on the processing of sensory information, or on the construction of internal representations, but is fundamentally shaped by the motor possibilities of the perceiving body. As John Dewey put it in 1896, in his essay, “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology”