Hypnosis And Memory

Written by Stacy Chbosky
Bookmark and Share

Where does memory live? Although much of the brain has been mapped, so that scientists understand where language acquisition, inhibition and other abilities biologically "live," we still don't know where memory resides. Certainly, short term memory takes place in a different part of the brain than long term memory. Brain damage can affect one type of memory profoundly without damaging the other type at all. Memory, however, is still a mystery to us.

Hypnosis and Memory

For thousands of years, people have sought to improve their memories. Hypnosis has been used to improve or explore memory for hundreds of years. Hypnosis puts the person into an altered state of consciousness. By bringing the subconscious to the fore and relaxing the normally dominant conscious mind, new abilities are discovered, and old memories are brought to light.

Hypnosis is generally used to trigger the memory for two separate goals. Some people use hypnosis as a way to uncover memories that may have otherwise been "lost." For instance, when a person is abducted from a public place, police may employ hypnotists to question willing witnesses. Under hypnosis, these witnesses will be coaxed into remembering clues, such as a suspect's face or dress.

Other "lost" memories may include childhood memories. If a person feels that much of her childhood is a blank, or if she suspects that she may have experienced physical or sexual abuse, hypnosis may help her "find" these lost memories. The final use of hypnosis in memory is hypnosis as mnemonic device. Hypnosis can help people improve their memories, in order to help them recall names, dates, faces, numbers or facts more readily.


Bookmark and Share