Milton Erickson was the first to introduce hypnosis as a form of therapy during the post-war period. Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of hypnosis on memory, focusing principally on post-hypnotic amnesia, post-hypnotic hypermnesia, faux memories and learning growth.
The aim of the present study was to determine if hypnosis can influence visual-spatial memory by increasing its performance and learning; to do this, we chose to utilise the Corsi Test (backward and forward).
Three hundred second-year students enrolled in the psychology faculty at the University of Catania were informed of the research and its modalities, and an e-mail was sent to inquire if they wanted to participate in the experiment.
Seventy female students took part in the research; 10 were excluded because they presented a high risk of being influenced under hypnosis.
The 60 subjects in the research sample were randomly divided into two groups: the Experimental Group and Control Group.
The protocol prescribed administration of the Corsi Test at Time 0 (start) followed by a resting phase of 30 min. The hypnotic state was subsequently introduced, and the Corsi Test was administered again.
The results of the Corsi Test for the Experimental Group showed statistically significant results (p<0.0004 and p<0.0001), while the results obtained in the Control Group did not show any significance.
These results led us to believe that hypnosis has the capacity to induce a nervous plasticity that supports learning of visual-spatial memory.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: None declared.
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: Funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication. The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.
 Erickson MH. La ristrutturazione della vita con l’ipnosi. Seminari, dimostrazioni e conferenze di Milton H. Erickson. vol. II. Astrolabio Roma, 1987.Search in Google Scholar
 Hull CL. Hypnosis and suggestibility: an experimental approach. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1933.Search in Google Scholar
 Kihlstrom JF, Barnhardt TM. The self-regulation of memory, for better and for worse, with and without hypnosis. In: Wegner & Pennebaker, editor. Handbook of mental control. Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 88–125:1993.Search in Google Scholar
 Evans FJ, Thorn WAF. Two types of post-hypnotic amnesia. J Abnormal Psychology 1966;88:566–73.Search in Google Scholar
 Barnier AJ. Posthypnotic amnesia for autobiographical episodes: a laboratory model of functional amnesia? Psychol Sci 2002;13:232–7.10.1111/1467-9280.00443Search in Google Scholar
 Barnier AJ, McConkey KM, Wright J. Posthypnotic amnesia for autobiographical episodes: influencing memory accessibility and quality. Int J Clin Exp Hypnosis 2004;52:260–79.10.1080/0020714049052351Search in Google Scholar
 O’Connor AR, Barnier AJ, Cox RE. Déjà vu in the laboratory: a behavioral and experiential comparison of posthypnotic amnesia and posthypnotic familiarity. Int J Clin Exp Hypnosis 2008;56:425–50.10.1080/00207140802255450Search in Google Scholar
 Kihlstrom JF. Hypnosis, memory and amnesia. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 1997;352:1727–32.10.1016/0022-510X(96)80087-6Search in Google Scholar
 Laurence JR, Perry C. Hypnotically created memory among highly hypnotisable subjects. Science 4, 1983;222:523–4.10.1126/science.6623094Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Dywan J. The imagery factor in hypnotic hypermnesia. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 1988;36:312–26.10.1080/00207148808410521Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Dywan J. The illusion of familiarity: an alternative to the report-criterion account of hypnotic recall. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 1995;43:194–211. Review.10.1080/00207149508409961Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Coe WC, Sarbin TR. Hypnosis from the standpoint of a contextualist. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1977;7:2–13.10.1111/j.1749-6632.1977.tb38157.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed
 Wagstaff GF, Wheatcroft JM, Jones AC. Are high hypnotisable especially vulnerable to false memory effects? A sociocognitive perspective. Int J Clin Exp Hypnosis 2011;59:310–26.10.1080/00207144.2011.570658Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Nemeth D, Janacsek K, Polner B, Kovacs ZA. Boosting human learning by hypnosis. Cerebral Cortex 2013;23:801–5.10.1093/cercor/bhs068Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Halsband U. Learning in trance: functional brain imaging studies and neuropsychology. J Physiol Paris 2006;99:470–82.10.1016/j.jphysparis.2006.03.015Search in Google Scholar
 Weitzenhoffer AM, Hilgard ER. Revised stanford profile scales of hypnotic susceptibility, forms I and II. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1967.Search in Google Scholar
 Angelini FJ, Kumar VK, Chandler L. The Harvard Group scale of hypnotic susceptibility and related instruments: individual and group administrations. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 1999;47:236–50.10.1080/00207149908410035Search in Google Scholar
 Shor RE, Orne EC. Harvard Group scale of hypnotic susceptibility: form a. Palo Alto, California, USA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1962.Search in Google Scholar
 De Pascalis V, Russo P, Marucci FS. Italian norms for the Harvard Group of hypnotic susceptibility: form a. Int J Clin Exp Hypnosis 2000;48:44–55.10.1080/00207140008410360Search in Google Scholar
 Weitzenhoffer AM, Hilgard ER. Stanford hypnotic susceptibility scale. Forms C Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1962.Search in Google Scholar
 De Pascalis V, Bellusci A, Russo PM. Italian norms for the stanford hypnotic susceptibility scale, form c. Int J Clin Exp Hypnosis 2000;48:315–23.10.1080/00207140008415249Search in Google Scholar
 Mammarella IC, Toso C, Pazzaglia F, Cesare C. BVS -corsi-Batteria per La Valutazione Della Memoria Visiva E Spaziale. Batteria per La Valutazione Della Memoria Visiva E Spaziale. Ericson, 2008.Search in Google Scholar
 Rainville P, Price DD. Hypnosis phenomenology and the neurobiology of consciousness. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 2003;51:105–29.10.1076/iceh.22.214.171.12413Search in Google Scholar
 Rainville P, Carrier B, Hofbauer RK, Bushnell MC, Duncan GH. Dissociation of sensory and affective dimensions of pain using hypnotic modulation. Pain 1999;82:159–71.10.1016/S0304-3959(99)00048-2Search in Google Scholar
 Gundenmund P, Vanhaudenhuyse M, Boly M, Laureys S, Soddu A. A default mode of brain function in altered states of consciousness. Arch Italiennes De Biol 2012;150:107–21.Search in Google Scholar
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston