Among embodied cognition approaches, a growing number of studies has highlighted the close relationships between the processes that underpin memory and sensory-motor processes. Among these approaches, the Act-In model (Versace et al., 2014) proposes that during a living experience, memory traces automatically emerge through the dynamic activation and integration of sensory and motor dimensions of that experience. During a later living experience, the situation reactivates these previous traces, so that the different dimensions of the present and the previous experiences become integrated. In this model, the perception of the present situation can thus be influenced by previous traces, and conversely, the previous traces can be influenced by the present perception.
In parallel to the development of embodied approaches of cognition, the issue of the relationships between the body and the memory has also been discussed among hypnosis specialists. Indeed since the rising of hypnosis at the end of 18th century up to its nowadays practice, notably impacted by Milton Erickson, several important hypnosis methods have been characterized by their use of memory to reach therapeutic goals for patients with physical or psychic problems. For instance, age regression notably consists in proposing to the patient a “revival” of a moment of his life, in order to solve a present problem or to modify a present perception. These hypnosis methods using memory are common and their effects are often described in literature: several specific research domains, as false memory created consecutively to an age regression, brought clinical and experimental studies articulating memory and hypnosis. However, these methods are presently explained by no consensual conceptual nor theoretical model. Moreover, the processes underpinning this kind of phenomenon are not yet well understood.
Through a pluridisciplinary reflection, the present paper has two goals. First, it aims at discussing the heuristic relevance of the Act-In model to understand why hypnosis methods based on memory produce specific and observable effects. Second, it aims at discussing to what extent hypnosis might allow the development of new methods to explore the dynamic and embodied dimension of human memory.
Pour citer cet article :Coutté Alexandre, Heurley Loïc P., Bioy Antoine (2021/1). The Cognitive Hypnosis, Memory and Embodied Cognition. In Versace Rémy (Eds), Memory and Cognition: How is the Meaning of the World Constructed Through our Interactions with the Environment? Intellectica, 74, (pp.271-298), DOI: n/a.