Using suggestion to model different types of automatic writing (2014) *Consciousness and Cognition*

Abstract

Our sense of self includes awareness of our thoughts and movements, and our control over them. This feeling can be altered or lost in neuropsychiatric disorders as well as in phenomena such as “automatic writing” whereby writing is attributed to an external source. Here, we employed suggestion in highly hypnotically suggestible participants to model various experiences of automatic writing during a sentence completion task. Results showed that the induction of hypnosis, without additional suggestion, was associated with a small but significant reduction of control, ownership, and awareness for writing. Targeted suggestions produced a double dissociation between thought and movement components of writing, for both feelings of control and ownership, and additionally, reduced awareness of writing. Overall, suggestion produced selective alterations in the control, ownership, and awareness of thought and motor components of writing, thus enabling key aspects of automatic writing, observed across different clinical and cultural settings, to be modelled.

Publication
In: Consciousness and Cognition, (26), pp. 24–36, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2014.02.008