Greg Poljacik is a Research Coordinator at the University of Chicago for the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience with a focus in risk analysis, performance, and wisdom. He is a part of the Wisdom Research Project at UofC, studying the relationship between expertise and wisdom.


How does experience increase wisdom? What is the relationship between cognitive, social and emotional processes in mediating wisdom?

Learn more: Wisdom Research Network at the University of Chicago

Greg is also a newly Certified Hypnotist, a stuntman for film and television, teaches stage combat and Improv at Second City, and he owns a business selling the stage blood he invented for the entertainment industry. Learn more about Gravity and Momentum.

Greg Poljacik

More on the Stroop Effect Test:

Amir Raz:

Greg Poljacik

Lifshitz, M., Aubert Bonn, N., Fischer, A., Kashem, I. F., & Raz, A. (2013). Using suggestion to modulate automatic processes: from Stroop to McGurk and beyond. Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 49(2), 463“73. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.08.007

Stanford Suggestibility Scale Form C

Weitzenhoffer, A. M., & Hilgard, E. R. (1996). Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C. Stanford University.

McGeown, W. J., Venneri, A., Kirsch, I., Nocetti, L., Roberts, K., Foan, L., & Mazzoni, G. (2012). Suggested visual hallucination without hypnosis enhances activity in visual areas of the brain. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(1), 100“16. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2011.10.015

McGeown, W. J., Mazzoni, G., Venneri, A., & Kirsch, I. (2009). Hypnotic induction decreases anterior default mode activity. Consciousness and Cognition, 18(4), 848“55. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2009.09.001

Kosslyn, S. M., Thompson, W. L., Costantini-Ferrando, M. F., Alpert, N. M., & Spiegel, D. (2000). Hypnotic visual illusion alters color processing in the brain. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 157(8), 1279“84. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10910791

Kallio, S., & Koivisto, M. (2013). Posthypnotic suggestion alters conscious color perception in an automatic manner. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 61(4), 371“87. doi:10.1080/00207144.2013.810446

Hoeft, F., Gabrieli, J. D. E., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Haas, B. W., Bammer, R., Menon, V., & Spiegel, D. (2013). Functional Brain Basis of Hypnotizability. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 69(10), 1064“1072.

Dienes, Z., & Hutton, S. (2013). Understanding hypnosis metacognitively: rTMS applied to left DLPFC increases hypnotic suggestibility. Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 49(2), 386“92. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.07.009

Vanhaudenhuyse, a., Laureys, S., & Faymonville, M.-E. (2013). Neurophysiology of hypnosis. Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology. doi:10.1016/j.neucli.2013.09.006

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Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Imagine building a more successful hypnosis business just in the next 10 days. To learn how, please visit work smart hypnosis.com and take the 10 day Hypnosis Business challenge. Yours free today. Welcome to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast with Jason Lynette, your professional resource for hypnosis training and outstanding business success.

Here’s your host, Jason Lynette, and welcome back. We’re here today with session number 19 at the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast here today with Greg Paul Jasick. Now, chances are actually, I’d be pretty certain, most of you right now, Know of Greg Paul Jaic. He’s actually here with me right now. And, uh, Greg, would you just introduce yourself please?

Hi, yeah. I’m Greg Paul Jaic. I’m a psychology research coordinator at the University of Chicago. Uh, and I’m here getting the, uh, hypnosis certification with Jason. Yeah. And Greg, uh, thank you so much for being here today and, uh, I actually share a bit of a background, the. The direction that you’ve come from and the direction that you’re going now is a rather interesting one.

Um, actually a bit of a fun fact I’ve mentioned before here in the podcast that many years ago began a career in theatrical management, organizing everything. And actually Greg and I went to college together about almost 15 years ago. Yeah, same theater program. Uh, kind of the same trajectory, uh, except that I went to Chicago right after graduation and you know, Jason moved into his in.

Yeah. And, uh, specifically, well, let’s give the reference. If you have seen the movie Divergent, you’ve seen him get firing on as well as get shot. Yeah, I die. I definitely die at the end. That’s my big claim to fame right now. Uh, because I, I do stunt for film and tv, so, uh, definitely a zigzag from theater to doing stunts to, uh, making sword for a bit.

Now I make stage blood and now moving into psychology research and hyp. So it’s definitely not a straight path of I went from here, I had a plan and I ended up here. It’s bounced off to whatever has the most interest. Yeah. And definitely, well, hypnosis tends to be one of those professions, one of those fields that very few people start off by going, Yeah, this is the one thing I want to do.

Right. That’s what it seems like. And, uh, especially from the people I’ve met so far and talked to about it and even the research that we are starting to do and I’m starting to do with my lab at New Chicago, um, it’s, it, it has a wide variety of people who are interested in hypnosis right now. And as I’ve gone back and read the books and done some of the research of.

Long, uh, history. It is, uh, it’s, it’s quite a, a collection of individuals who engage in this art. Yeah, absolutely. And specifically what I wanted to have you on the podcast and chat about here this week. Is that hypnosis is this profession that we tend to pull a lot of our research in and in conversations, getting a lot of updates in terms of things we’ve been talking about.

So let’s kind of kick this off in the right direction. In terms of the most up to date research that you’ve been encountering, what would you say is that best description we can make use of in terms of. What’s going on within the mind? What’s going on within the body? As we begin to talk about hypnosis, uh, from the research that’s currently going on, uh, a lot of the things that are talked about in the hypnosis training in the community, they’re on the right path.

They’re on a, a similar path to what we have. Just the debate that’s going on is what exactly is happening. So we have multiple theories that that are. Competing with each other that have evidence supporting each one. So, uh, in the psychology field, it’s the cold control theory, which is similar to the bypassing the critical mind.

It’s pretty much that same thing, but with more technical language. So we just call it high order thoughts, ot. So you’ll see that in a research paper. If it says hots, it’s basically. Bypassing the critical mind. That’s the cold control theory, that you have an intention that the subject, well, we call ’em subjects in our studies, you guys would be calling ’em clients.

So the client has a, uh, an intention to do something, but it hasn’t reached the high odor thought. So they don’t realize they have the intention to do something. So the brain’s thinking, do this command that I’ve been given. But it doesn’t reach conscious awareness. That’s one theory that we have evidence for and we’ve seen evidence for in some of the papers and research.

Let me jump in for a second there, cuz I’ve also heard that talked about from our perspective in terms of implicit learning, that the body, the mind is becoming aware of information before we’re consciously acknowledging it. Yeah, that there’s evidence that those types of things happen. I mean, you can, you get stimulus that you have stimulus from your surrounding world that we don’t process every stimulus.

We see the body respond to these stim, but, uh, bringing them to conscious awareness that that would be, you would be constantly recognizing every single sensation you have. I mean, it’s the, the thing where do you realize you’re wearing your pants right now? Can you feel your socks? Can you feel your shirt?

Eventually those fade away into the background. It’s called habituation, so it’s not that the. Don’t get signals anymore, they just tamp down the response to it so they can bring energy somewhere else and more effectively use that in the brain. So those things are similar to what’s going on. I mean, those can be similar things.

We don’t wanna quite say that they’re the same yet because the different vocabulary there for a reason. We parse those down and it’s very difficult, even in the psychology world to agree on a specific terminology to say, Well, one person says it’s this, and they’re like, Well, It could be this, but it might also be this.

What about this certain reaction here? So we have that debate and that’s why it’s a little bit troublesome to say It is specifically this or this is exactly going on. It’s a enormously complex system that to nail it down to one result, especially with our tools and technology, we’re not quite there yet.

We wanna get there. It would make our job so much easier if we could, but it’s just not the case. The brain is wonderfully complex and, uh, a tough puzzle to get. And we’re also still at this point, a rather complex profession where if we all could agree on just one simple definition of what hypnosis is, what’s going on, and how it is that we actually work within the process of creating change, or even the same concepts for the stage hypnotist, that if we can simplify down to one simple definition, which this was a conversation you and I have already had this week, specifically around.

You taking this information back to the studies that you’ve been doing that When we take the definition down to that Dave Elman bypassing of the critical factor of the mind and the acceptance of selectable thinking, then we get to a model in which it’s not so much looking for that magical trance sensation, which for some of the people, some of the time, it’s definitely gonna be that.

Yet, it’s the way that we often begin to pull in the categories of you’re watching a movie and you know, everything up there is fiction, and yet we’re still getting swept up in the experience. Mm-hmm. , we’re falling into these automatic response mechanisms, whether it’s driving a car, tying our shoes, the example of, well, only because we reference it now, are you aware of the clothing on your body?

Right. That bypassing of that critical awareness. Which often as the hypnosis practitioner working with my clients, I’m often gonna bring about that perspective of, here’s what you’re already doing, here’s this feeling. You know, for a fact is not hunger, and yet you’re eating in response to it. Mm-hmm.

congratulations. You’re already doing hypnosis. I’m just gonna show you how to do it better. So let me ask you this, then. We, over the years have pointed to different regions, different parts of the mind. If you could give us like that best description of here’s a client going through hypnosis. What’s the best information that we’re aware of right now?

Uh, the, what it looks like. It has the strongest evidence. And again, this does depend on the type of inductions used. So the strongest evidence though, if we were looking at the bypassing the critical mind, if you wanna use a brain area that has the most visual evidence from brain images right now, uh, the best one to look at is the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex.

You look at the prefrontal cort. In its entirety, that’s in charge of executive control, executive function, uh, and it’s kind of overlooks all of that. It’s our latest evolving part of the brain. It’s what, uh, latest involves when we’re teenagers and coming into adults, why they have so much trouble struggling with making decisions and learning their identity.

But the dorsal lateral part is of a specific interest because it’s the end. You have two streams, a dorsal stream and a eventual stream. And the ventral stream has all the inputting stimula that comes in and gets processed by the brain. And the dorsal is the end part. Let me pause you there for a second cuz you hit on something that very often we’d hear in a hypnosis training that the younger ages, some people would go so far as to say that.

These children may be seven years old and younger, perhaps the phrase used to be, Oh, they’re always in a state of hypnosis. And I always go to the example, and I have my own spin on this. I’ve heard Larry Elman ask a group of people, What’s the youngest age you can remember disobeying your parents? And with a three year old actually, that I just gave a bath to about a half an hour ago.

Yeah. That critical factor is there. It may still be developing, but you pointed to the example of how it may be perhaps be a flaw of a number of studies. That they’re being done at universities. Mm-hmm. , and we most often would have that 15 to 21 age range. Sure. I mean, they, they also use children at universities for child development.

And, you know, by saying that it’s not fully developed doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Mm-hmm. and that it’s not learning how to work. So they still do have a prefrontal cortex. It’s not like it just. Pops up out of the blue. It’s just, it’s, it’s establishing the connections that takes time to happy birthday.

Here’s your profile. Right, Exactly. You get, you get an extra brain. Uh, it just takes time to build those connections and build those pathways of things that we now take for granted of things that we do. I mean, you know, uh, complex actions like walking, standing up. Um, moving around our behaviors in our cultures, these things are stuff that we do daily, day in, day out.

Reading, speaking, you know, if you look back and you watch a child learn how to read and you remember that experience, and I can’t speak too much on child development, It’s not my specialty, but we can imagine that that’s a process, that it takes the brain time to set down the connections to be able to do that automat.

We wanted, it almost seems like an automatic response to be able to read, to be able to speak. You don’t have to think about those words if you’ve got it down in an automatic process. Whereas when you’re a child and those childs, they do, doesn’t mean they can’t, but at the time, they have to really think and work through it until it becomes automatic.

So that’s my best estimation, uh, assumption. If I was going to compare the two of a developing prefrontal cortex in that for the suggestibility, They’re gonna start believing like, Oh, there’s Santa Claus, there’s the Easter Bunny. There’s these things that they believe in readily. Wait, what? Yeah, I’m sorry, Jason.

Yeah. Okay. . So they’re gonna believe in those a little more readily, but over time they can start to accept things that are real and they may even be able to accept that the these suggestion in a sense that these characters aren’t real anymore. They learn to dissociate the difference between reality and fiction, but move a little bit easier through those worlds.

Whereas as we get older, Through pattern, through repetition, through our own personal experiences in history, along with a better equipped developed brain, that we just start seeing the differences in reality a lot quicker, a lot sharper. We’re seeing the contrast a lot better. Yeah. One of the studies that used to be very, very popular was pointing to pet scans and the process of looking at a wall and seeing a red dot, looking at a wall and being told to imagine there’s a red dot and going into hypnosis and being told it’s as if there’s a red dot, and the study was re replicated several times with music in terms.

Actually, listen, imagine you’re listening and then hypnotized as if you’re listening and basically replicated with all the different, uh, representational systems and you were sharing. There’s a study that’s rather similar that that also helps to update the information too. Yeah. There’s recent studies where they look at, uh, seeing changes in a color palette.

They have, uh, these color squares and they’re varying shades of colors of, uh, brightness. And you can induce, uh, the hypnotic effect of seeing those colors drain and become more gray scale or seeing color in a gray scale image of that. Um, what’s interesting is that, You can get that effect. We separate ’em into highly suggestible medium and low suggestible.

Um, there’s very few that I guess will be determined as non hypnosis, even though I’ve heard that, that people have been given that label. Um, and looking at the Stanford scale, that may be something we can update when looking at how we develop, what methods we use. But what’s interesting is that they found, even in some studies, that you don’t even need the hypnotics process to give a suggestion and to see those same results.

And when you’re watching somebody in the brain, it’s as if they’re actually seeing those colors in the highly suggestible, the medium and the low don’t have that same effect. So you have to induce some kind of hypnotic induction to get that effect in the medium. And the low is not as strong of an effect, but in the highly suggestible you see it when they’re hypnotized.

And if you just tell them, say, Just see these color. They’re going to see them or they’re gonna see it drained. They’re gonna have that response to it, which is pretty interesting. That’s not to say it’s anything against hypnosis. It’s not a minus, it’s not a knock. It’s just saying that the brain has this ability to imagine and to imagine in a real visceral way that we can now.

See in a sense mm-hmm. , we can see it happening. So it’s, we have a lot of evidence that shows this is actually happening. It’s the debate of what’s making this happen? How is this happening? How is this possible? That shouldn’t seem to be possible if you look at it from a purely neurophysical way and neurophysiology way, seeing something that’s not there.

Doesn’t seem like it seems rational cuz we’re supposed to have light that falls on the retina and hits the cells and moves through the synapses, down the optical nerve into the brain, into the asci lobe, into V one and into V two, and then being processed up into the prefrontal, the cortex if there’s no stimulus.

what are they seeing? Where is that coming from? And if it looks like they’re actually seeing in the brain, how does that work? Right? So those are the questions that kind of get us excited. You know, when we run into those results, like, wait, our brain can do that. And it also frustrates us cuz like, wait, the brain can do that.

Like it would be so much easier if it just responded to stimulus. And then we could break it down. And if it was just neurophysiological, great, we could just go down that. If it was just neurobiological, we could just look at the biology of a cell and say, That’s the answer. But then when we do, and then you put it in context of real life, the puzzle starts to fall apart again.

So it becomes wonderfully exciting and then wonderfully frustrating, which it’s helpful too to point out, we spent some time yesterday looking through that study for the Stanford scale, and if you get a chance to actually look at that, what is remarkable about it is that it’s scripted out in a way that just the lab assistant, the research assistant, could simply read it.

It’s interesting because the pre-talk does not. Serve as a pre-talk. Mm-hmm. , the pre-talk information that we as the hypnosis practitioner were typically do before the process officially began. is actually happening through the process as well. There’s elements that are similar to the light and heavy arm, and it’s a measurement based on how far the arm lowers.

Various other examples, similar to our suggestibility test, the suggestion of as if there’s a mosquito on the hand. Mm-hmm. measuring the time response it takes for someone to either brush her away or report some sort of tangling as well. It’s interesting that in terms of building a model that could simply be read and replicated, what I’d love to ask you is what type of changes do you see as a possibility by building in what we like to call a client centered approach of customizing to the individual.

It, it’s all about changing the question, you know, in that sense, what the susceptibility scale could be strong at is seeing, uh, and setting down a foundation of is hypnosis actually happening? Are people going through an induction and can we measure it? It’s been the gold standard in psychology for at least 60 years or more.

You know, they’ve had different variations. This is the Stanford Susceptibility Scale form C, so there’s an A and B to it. And it has a couple of events where they’ve been hypnotized before. So even though the pre talks folded in, there may have been one beforehand. Mm-hmm. , I don’t have a lot of experience with this specific scale yet, but seeing it and reading it, you can see some of the.

Things that people would do different. There are suggestions of don’t do something which, you know, if you, depending on your training, that can be seen as something that would be less effective in hypnosis. Cuz you’re giving them suggestion to think about something to not do, which often makes them do it.

Uh, and there’s ways out. So if they don’t do something, if they open their eyes, you skip the suggestions and you move on to another portion instead of refocusing with that client. And helping them into the process or using that as something that can further relax them. And to give an example, just to jump in, look at the classic structure of a Dave Elman induction phase one.

Relax the eyes as if they won’t work. Test them. Satisfy yourself. In that model where it’s a scripted outline to follow, if the eyes open, you just move on to the next step. Mm-hmm. , when those have been trained in an ALMANIAN model, would then know you do not move to the next step unless you’ve passed the test of that phase.

Right. Then again, it’s that statement that as we look at this, all these things are models. It’s like there was a previous moment in a class where I had a client, where I had a student. Wanting to argue and have the conversation around the premise that the subconscious mind does not know the difference between a strongly imagined situation and reality.

Here’s all the research we can use to point towards that being a true statement. Yet it’s also helpful at the same time to take a step back and realize this is a model that’s only about a hundred years old. Mm-hmm. . My response was, well, we could spend the time discussing that yet. Give it another a hundred years.

We’ll have more information. And that’s an important thing to also distinguish when you’re looking at science or any model. A model is a picture of the ideal circumstances. It’s not often a picture of the reality. We have a lot of models in psychology that we use for, uh, physiology of the body of a stress response, and you look at it.

And sometimes you can take them apart very easily, but then that makes them more complex and it makes it less usable as a model. A model is there to show the ideal, show a path to set up a path, and it is there to inspire more questions and often take a lot of criticism and flack to help promote something and move it forward.

Those are what models are best for. When you start developing theories, those things need to start getting more specific, right? So the model leads into a hypothesis, which after standing tests of time and building up, can eventually build into a theory that has a lot of evidence behind it. And then those things doesn’t mean they’re gold, doesn’t mean that they’re solving it can’t be taken down again.

Just means that they’ve been around for a while and they’ve been tested, they’ve been critiqued, they’ve been attacked, torn apart, and they still stick around pieces of them. Mm-hmm. , you always lose pieces of some hypothesis. You have some idea of what’s gonna happen and you get successful results. You’re like, Yeah, that’s it.

I got this answer. And then somebody comes along and says, Well, This isn’t really happening, or I found this counter evidence, so let’s move it up here and let’s get rid of this piece and let’s cut away this piece. But you’re still left with this kernel. Maybe you left with two words out of your hypothesis.

That was four sentences, and keep those two words and you’re on a good track. That’s usually the way it goes, which is where you shared previously that semantics of. Rather than stating something as the absolute fact, this is what it is and this is now what we know. Right. What was the adjustment that you shared?

I mean, basically just use our language in the hypnosis language. Is suggestion, evidence suggests that this is the case. Evidence is suggesting that there’s an effect here. Um, if any, anybody is selling something as far as this is what’s happen. It’s likely they’re probably selling something. They may have good intentions.

They may not be trying to sell you anything that’s false or trying to just sell you a product. They may be selling you a perspective, an idea, a theology about certain scientific findings. It’s that kind of language that often turns off to science community of like, well, That might be a little bit behind.

If you’re reading papers or even five years old, that information may be old By now. We may have moved on. It’s very quickly that ideas and even brain areas and things that we thought usually function. Get turned around on their head. So it’s great. My, uh, one of my mentors with, uh, um, in science and he’s the guy that runs our lab, has this great expression of rent, don’t buy.

When you’re thinking about a, a, you know, um, a certain point of view in science. He’s like, Rent don’t buy cuz you’re gonna be moving in a couple months anyway, , you know, So that’s the way it is. It doesn’t mean that there’s no answers. That’s the exciting part of science is that you’re not just gonna figure it out.

Done. It’s, you keep finding answers, you keep questioning. It’s not the, Oh, I found this thing and I’m gonna hold onto it the rest of my life. This is the answer. It’s usually where you run into trouble. You could find a field, an area, and continue going down there, but there’s always nuances. There’s something new to discover, and the evidence we find is it’s suggesting something’s happening.

When you look at brain scan pictures, those are suggestions based off of magnetic responses from blood flow. That’s what you’re looking at when you see an area lit up, that lighting. Is because blood is coming into an area and we’re assuming that blood coming into that area means that that area of the brain was being used more and needed more blood.

And what we’re looking at is the oxidated blood flow. It’s a bold response. It’s the blood oxygen level dependence signal. and that change in oxygen level in the blood changes the hemoglobin, which has the iron, which produces a different magnetic response. And that’s why that big magnet’s in there and you can’t bring any metal or else it’ll kill you cuz it’s a giant supercharged magnet.

That’s what you’re looking at. So that’s a huge suggestion. It’s a blood’s going here and it’s going. Your body needs blood to do stuff. So I guess if the brain’s being used, blood’s going that direction now. That’s a very good assumption. That’s a strong assumption. There’s good evidence. But again, it’s, it’s a suggestion.

So that’s something. that we need to keep in mind there too, and that’s why things change so quickly. And the other thing on top of that is you’re looking at hundreds of millions of neurons in those pictures. So when we look at brain areas, it’s hard to say if that area is doing just that. When we say it’s a vision area or a motor area or speech area, it could also be doing a whole bunch of other things.

We know that from neurosurgeons when they knock that area out, you lose the ability to speak. And we’ve got this cool coil device called, uh uh, trans, uh, trans magnetic stimulation device. So it shoots a magnetic stimulation to kind of. Knock out your brain cells in a sense so they don’t work. So it’s temporarily and it’s a re repetition thing that you put on your head and you could put it and aim it at a brain area and knock it out.

So then you can lose the ability to speak. Uh, and we can test that. So we induce artificial lesions, and that’s used as extra evidence that these areas control parts of our body. But again, it’s a. Wide. It’s not a specific, We’re not knocking out 10 neurons. We’re not knocking out a thousand. We’re knocking out hundreds of millions and they all do a lot of work and we’re gonna play with that tomorrow.

Right? Yeah, absolutely. Okay, cool. . So again, it’s not to say that. We can’t look at this and actually use this as good evidence, that the evidence is flawed in itself. It’s not. It’s just we are taking good suggestion leaps. We’re taking assumptive leaps, we’re taking very educated guess leaps based off of the best tools we have available.

You know, when you take a monkey, you can put the thing right in its neuron, but then you have to do the suggestion that their brain is ho to ours, that their brain area does the same thing ours does, even though they have a different shape, different size areas, and they may be used for different purposes altogether.

So it’s a lot of very educated and grounded assumptions, but, Their suggestions, and that’s why we put that in our language with our papers. Yeah. So it’s about rechanging the question from that original question that started it all of it’s the shape of the question for hypnosis. It’s instead of the answer, it’s changing.

What question are you asking? So the Stanford scale, change the question instead of does hypnosis work? What is making hypnosis work? That’s kind of the direction we’re going now. Got it. So then let’s say for the modern day hyp. , you can mention a couple of these and we’ll put them in the resources on the website on work smart hypnosis.com.

What are some pieces of research that you think would be good reference points for the hypnotist working with clients these days? Uh, look at, uh, a me raws, A M I R R A Z. Mm-hmm. . Look, look him up. He’s a researcher and he’s got a lab and they base a lot of their work on. Hypnosis and suggestion. Uh, and what’s been interesting, and he’s actually the one that they got me interested, I haven’t met him, but reading his papers, that’s what, uh, spurd my interest and, uh, continued to instigate our interest in our lab.

Um, is. He looked at this, uh, these automatic processes that we thought couldn’t be altered, that psychology thought, you can’t change these. These are just automatic. This is what the brain does. And by using hypnosis, they actually changed it. And the science community is like, Wait, what? Such as what examples?

Uh, it’s one effect. You can look it up. It’s called the strop effect. It’s S t r o o P. And it’s the effect where you see a word like the, the word red. You see a color, a color word, so red, but it’ll be colored in. So you have to read that off the screen and say what the color of the word is. So your brain’s reading the word red and it wants to say red, even though your eyes are seeing the color blue and processing that as the colors you’re supposed to say.

So that’s a conflict, and it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just slows your reaction time. Your reaction time is always slower looking at that, trying to give the answer that was requested. With hypnosis, it allowed, if you gave the suggestion that the letters you saw were foreign to you symbols, that you didn’t understand that it was suggested that that obviated your ability to read and it shortened that reaction time response.

It didn’t knock it down to normal, but it shortened it. So it wasn’t as fast as if the word red was colored red, but it was certainly faster than without hypnosis. And the reason I say it suggested obviated reading. They had another study that said that that wasn’t the case. That they, the effects still happened, but it wasn’t because you couldn’t read.

So there’s conflicting evidence as to what actually caused it, The. Hypnosis wasn’t the conflict or it was the mechanism and the mechanism was assumed to be be well because they can’t read. That’s what slowed the effect. So something’s happening, but again, you see it. It’s the semantics that we’re arguing over what is actually happening.

That’s the details. We don’t wanna, which we could look at that and play the game of, and it’s all, again, an assumption. Based on an assumption. Based on an assumption. Mm-hmm. if in this study, they were able to suggest that, again, the letters were jers, the letters were foreign. And only the color mattered.

Then perhaps by way of looking at that, we can deduce. , again, the phrasing of changing an automatic response. Mm-hmm. the same way that previously the automatic response may have been to reach for a habit, a behavior, or to feel a certain way that hypnosis by way of that study can begin to change an automatic response.

Right. Which again, is then drawing a second, a third assumption. You, or you could take it, the, the, uh, hyper attentive route that instead of obviating reading, it made the person more attentive to the background color. Cause you can also see that in another study with the McGurrk effect, if you look that one up, it’s a fun word.

It’s, uh, McGurrk, but that’s the name of the research originally discovered it. Uh uh. But it’s Mc g u r. Ck I think it’s just a CK but it might be just a resource. Yeah. Mcg, you’ll see it. Um, but the McGurrk effect is where you, you watch somebody saying, uh, GA or DA or ba, you see their mouth moving, giving you one of those sound, uh, types.

And then they play in your ear the. Other sounds. So if the mouth is giving you the sound, ga your ear, you hear ba and your brain forms the sound, va, it combines them into a new sound that doesn’t exist. So that’s the McGirk effect with hypnosis, they shown again, this was another automatic process that was gonna happen no matter what, and we thought we couldn’t change it.

Hypnosis, you can allow them to focus on one stimulus or the other, and then they would hear that more often. So you can tell them and want you to focus on the lips and the sound that’s coming out of the mouth from the mouth, and then they hear the boss sound or the go sound or whatever it may be, or you can tell them to attend to the sound in the headphones.

Well, that suggests that there’s a hyper attention value there. So that gives you some evidence to back up the other theory that it’s hyper attention. But then we have other theories like the, it’s called hypofrontality, the exhaustion. The one, the confusing induction could be part of the hypofrontality theory for hypnosis is that you wear down the prefrontal cortex.

You get it So used up that it gets tired. And it just can’t think anymore. Cause that can happen. You have to get, it’s called re-uptake of the transmitters in the brain, which needs time you into the format of progressive muscle relaxation. You can fit the format of a confusion, an instant induction, really, basically everything.

Yeah. And that’s a possibility. But then if you’ve got the relaxation too, some of those are similar to meditation, which we see a definite. And we’ve studied meditation and that’s been studied a lot. Compassion meditation, transcendental meditation, guided meditation, and there are definite brain effects that are seen there.

The interesting thing is that, uh, There’s a, your brain’s always active. So when you look at a picture, somebody decided, let’s, let’s look at the brain when nobody’s doing anything. And that took a while because it’s expensive to put somebody into one of those magnets and to suggest let’s just put ’em there and not let ’em do anything.

It’s like, ah, that’s a lot of money to see what might happen. But what they found is it’s called a default mode network. The brain is constantly just doing stuff. It’s thinking through something. It’s wandering. We’re not really sure what the things it’s doing is, but it’s, it’s active. What’s interesting is meditation, you see increase of that activity as if there’s more mind wandering or trying to control that.

Mind wandering. Wandering. Uh, with hypnosis, you see a decrease in activity. Again, it could be depending on the induction that’s done. If we’re looking at hypertension, you might expect an. But maybe not, but we do see. A decrease in default mode activity. And that’s interesting. So what’s going on there is that a bypass of the critical mind is that causing everything to kind of lose its inhibition qualities.

That’s what the prefrontal cortex does, and it’s also tied to the uh, anterior singlet cortex. Those things kind of work in tandem to determine our reality. And they have a lot of inhibition on things that come in and if that’s reducing. Wow, that’s interesting. That could be something that’s going on. Or depend, change the induction, see if it increases.

So it’s expensive things to play with on does it do this, does it do that? But what’s cool is that we see that evidence there, and that just says you, I’ve already talked about a bunch of papers that give conflicting results in a sense, or what seem to be conflicting results. So it’s about what induction does, what, what method, how does the brain do this and deal with this?

Cause we’re allowing and we see evidence of people. Having these experience experiences that are brought about from somebody coaching them through this. We’re just using words. We’re not giving anybody anything. You’re just using words, you’re using suggestion, and the mind and body are able to do some pretty cool things.

So it’s just wondering, well, how, how do we do that? What’s, what’s going on? What’s instigating that? That’s what we wanna know. So science isn’t trying to be a, like a bully and discredit anybody’s experience. You know, your, your experiences, your, uh, insight into what you see on a daily basis and your practice or your shows, or any way you use hypnosis.

It’s of value. It’s just how we communicate with each other. It’s that, and then the big one is when people are claiming, I know this is happening in the brain for a fact. It’s like, well, you can’t, we don’t really know what’s going on. We have good evidence for things, but, But we believe when you say your case studies, we’re not gonna doubt that you’ve observed something.

You’ve witnessed something. We just want to know. How is that actually working? Mm-hmm. . So that’s where the communication gap is that we can bridge very easily and people want to, There’s a lot more studies coming out, uh, every, you know, every year of new studies on hypnosis. You know, the latest papers are from this year on hypnosis.

So we’re studying it still. We’re just not talking to you guys very much yet. . That’s why we’re here. Exactly. Yeah. And that’s one of the reasons I’m studying. They sent me out here to learn this. So investing money to learn how to do this process for real so that way we can improve and say what else can we do?

Is it the best to just have a researcher read something? Should we use just professional hypnosis hypnotist in there? And should we vary the type of hypnotist? How best do we design or experience to. Capture a hypnotic induction, but B, something that’s replicable. If we can’t replicate it in another lab, then that’s not good science.

We have to be able to give our method to somebody else and say, You do the same thing we did, and see if you get the same thing. And that’s a challenge when it’s client based. That’s definitely gonna pose a challenge. Um, But it’s not a challenge. We can’t overcome. We look at a lot of different things. So it’s about finding the right question and the right way to attack that question.

It’s a big puzzle, but you know, by having these discussions, by engaging in this and saying, Hey, cool. Good insight. Let’s look at that, or that matches up with this, or we’re sharing a similar language here. By doing that, we can start honing those studies down and creating better studies and really looking this.

If, if we can get people to not feel pain, you know, and assist that and buffer that up with medicine that has good research behind it and make them work in tandem together, that’s huge. That’d be great. There’s a lot of promise for this. So, um, especially with the cognitive behavioral therapy type thing, I know it’s not the same thing, but that’s to have people help themselves and to be able to go through it without just medication to deal with psychology, uh, psychological or psychiatric ailments to use it in tandem.

Because I’m not against medicine and I, some people might be, but you know, it’s, you can use them together and that would be the important goal, is giving control back to people. So I think it’s, uh, very promising. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast and work smart hypnosis.com. Please visit the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast, listing on iTunes and share your positive feedback.