Effects of dry flotation REST on hypnotizability, eeg and skin conductance in lighted and unlighted conditions .

Marianne Barabasz, Arreed Barabasz, Jennifer Darakjy-Jaeger, Timothy Justice, Katherine Anderson, Mike Trevisan
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

The effects of dry flotation restricted environmental stimulation (REST) on hypnotizability, EEG and skin conductance were tested in lighted and light free conditions. Washington State University community volunteers (N=30, ages 18-30) were assigned to lighted (N=10) REST, unlighted (N=10) REST or control (N=10) conditions after participation in hypnosis maximizing (plateauing) experiences (a minimum of 12 inductions prior to the experiment). The Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale: Form C (SHSS:C) (Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1962) was administered prior to the experimental or control condition, after the 6 hour exposure to the condition and at a two-week follow-up. EEG and skin conductance level (SCL) data were collected during REST. Participants exposed to both lighted and unlighted dry flotation REST significantly improved their SHSS:C scores from pre to post and from pre to follow-up confirming Barabasz's (1982) theory of REST responding. Lighted and unlighted REST participants produced significantly higher SHSS:C scores at both posttest and follow-up than participants exposed to the Control procedures. The unlighted group showed significantly higher SHSS:C scores than the unlighted REST group. Consistent with Barabasz (1982), EEG alpha densities showed a U shaped curve while SCL responses showed an inverted U curve during REST. Consistent with Suedfeld (1980), these data support an arousal adaptation response to REST.

Tags: research, hypnosis, eeg, brainwaves, WSU