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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/380

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

common people. We have only to tell a person who has been recently hypnotized that he will go to sleep at a certain hour, or in a certain place, or while doing a certain thing, for the phenomenon to be produced naturally.

The subject may be made to repeat words spoken before him, by pressing on the nape of his neck. Pressure between the fourth and seventh vertebræ of the neck makes him groan; when applied at the side of the last vertebra, it induces him to draw his leg back; and if made alternately on each side of this vertebra, will cause him to walk backward. Reflex local movements are provoked by the excitation of determinate points of the trunk: raising of the arms over the head, by irritation of the skin of the dorsal region of the pectoral vertebræ turning of the arm backward, by excitation of the skin over the middle vertebræ. If we apply a hearing-trumpet to the nape or the stomach of a hypnotic, he, although he may have been insensible to words pronounced in his ear, will comprehend articulate sounds and repeat them, even though they be in a language that is unknown to him. Hallucinations are produced only if the provoked sleep is light. The hypnotic symptoms may be dissipated by suddenly changing the excitation. If the magnetic state has been produced by passes before the chin, it can be made to disappear by reversing them. The contraction of the arm caused by rubbing the inside of the thumb ceases when the direction of the current is changed. A new sensation dissipates the effect of a previous excitation. It is not, then, a matter of indifference whether we change the direction of the passes: we should persevere in the one which was adopted in the beginning. Rigidity, if it is not intense, ceases on the application of a cold body; a piece of money, a bit of glass, is enough to dispel it. If we touch the forehead or eyes of a hypnotic with a small piece of glass, he will open his eyes and mouth while sleep continues.

It has been asked if we can not obtain semilateral hypnotic phenomena by acting on half the face or head. In fact, by pressing along one side of the forehead or the crown of the head, we may diminish or suspend the influence of the will on the extremities of the opposite side. Light pressures on the left side of the head have produced immobility of the right arm and leg. A shock on the left arm caused this half-paralysis to disappear. The fixed limbs kept indefinitely the position which had been given them, and were found to be in a state of cataleptic suppleness. There appeared at the same time an impossibility to pronounce a word—a condition of ataxic aphasia. Passes on the right side of the head caused the same symptoms, less the aphasia, to appear on the left. Simultaneous passes on both sides of the head developed the cataleptic condition on both sides, aside from the disorder of speech and the facial movements. In all these experiments consciousness was preserved, without the accompaniment of any painful subjective impression. Lateral passes on the skin of the thigh pro-