Hypnotic control of attention in the stroop task: A historical footnote

Consciousness and Cognition 12 (3):347-353 (2003)
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have recently provided a compelling demonstration of enhanced attentional control under post-hypnotic suggestion. Using the classic color-word interference paradigm, in which the task is to ignore a word and to name the color in which it is printed (e.g., RED in green, say ''green''), they gave a post-hypnotic instruction to participants that they would be unable to read. This eliminated Stroop interference in high suggestibility participants but did not alter interference in low suggestibility participants. replicated this pattern and further demonstrated that it is not due to a visual strategy (such as blurring or looking at a different location). As a historical footnote, we describe a ''case study'' from 18 years ago in which we observed the same result using a hypnotic instruction to a single highly suggestible individual that he could not read. The elimination of Stroop interference has important implications for both the study of attention and the study of hypnosis.



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Colin Macleod
University of Victoria