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No. 51: May-Jun 1987

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Rare but there: hypnotic enhancement of eidetic imagery

Eidetic imaging is a remarkable capability, manifested more often in children, in which complex images can be recalled with great detail and realism in a format similar to a hallucination. This mysterious "talent" can be enhanced by hyp notism, indicating perhaps that it is latent in us all.

"The production of eidetic-like imagery during hypnosis in subjects with high but not low hypnotizability was supported in three separate experiments using nonfakable stereograms. In Experiment 1, 6 (25%) of 24 stringently chosen, high hypnotizables were able to perceive one of the superimposed stereograms (presented monocularly) during conditions of standard hypnosis or age regression, or under both conditions, but not during waking. In Experiments 2 and 3, low and high hypnotizables were presented stereograms in an alternating, monocular fashion (one-half to each eye). In Experiment 2, 10% of the high hypnotizables perceived one or more stereograms in hypnosis or age regression, but not during waking. In Experiment 3, none of the 17 low hypnotizables reported correct stereograms, but 6 of the 23 high hypnotizables (26%) did. Relationships between imagery performance and visuospatial abilities were investigated. Results support the general hypothesis that hypnosis enhances imaginal processing of information to be remembered that is a literal or untransformed representation."

(Crawford, Helen J., et al; "EideticLike Imagery in Hypnosis: Rare But There," American Journal of Psychology, 99:527, 1986.)

From Science Frontiers #51, MAY-JUN 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987