Letter | Published:

Paradoxical Blocking and Arousal in the Drowsy State



THERE have been many attempts to investigate the hypnotic state making use of the electroencephalograph. Though clinically the subject might have the appearance of sleep, the electroencephalograph was not found to be different from that found in the wide-awake hypnotized state. Darrow et al. 1 believed that the electroencephalograph in hypnosis had characteristics that distinguished it from both true sleep and full consciousness. Our experience does not confirm either of these views, but we have not found the electroencephalograph of a hypnotized person to have any distinctive characteristics. Rather the electroencephalograph of the hypnotized person can be characteristic of the waking or drowsing electroencephalogram without hypnosis, depending upon the situation and the suggestions given. This finding is therefore in accord with those of older writers on the subject, including Paul Schilder2.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Darrow, C. W., Henry, C. E., Brenman, M., and Gill, M., EEG. Clin. Neurophysiol., 2, 231 (1950).

  2. 2

    Schilder, P., “The Nature of Hypnosis”, trans. by Gorvin, G. (International Universities Press, New York, 1956).

  3. 3

    Oswald, I., Taylor, A., and Treisman, M., EEG. Clin. Neurophysiol., 11, 603, (1959).

  4. 4

    Adrian, E. D., in “Brain Mechanisms and Consciousness”, edit. by Delafresnaye, J. F., 237 (Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1954).

  5. 5

    Adrian, E. D., Irish. J. Med. Sci., 138, 237 (1937).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.