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Altered States/Dissociation
Record Type: Review   ID: 4

Hypnagogia: The Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep

Mavromatis, Andreas

 This work is an outgrowth of Mavromatis’ doctoral dissertation, in which he performs a valuable service by pulling together what is known about hypnagogic experiences, or hallucinations and quasihallucinations that occur in a state between waking and sleeping. In the first part, he examines the phenomenology of the hypnagogic state (hypnagogia), considering both somatosensory or perceptual or quasiperceptual experiences and cognitive-affective phenomena. In the second part, he examines the phenomenological relationships of hypnagogia with other experiences and states (dreams, schizophrenia, meditation, psi, and creativity). He notes that an important finding is that "some of these experiences are only distinguishable from hypnagogia by the subject’s set of beliefs and the setting in which the experiences take place. Practically all of them...either begin with, or develop into, hypnagogic phenomena" (p. 12). In the last part he examines brain mechanisms and the function of hypnagogia within an evolutionary perspective. He concludes that hypnagogia "opens great vistas of psychological exploration. Its introspective study may furnish the individual not only with the benefits of an integrated personality but also with the means of discovering new or little known modes of experiencing which will undoubtedly enrich him/her as a psychological entity" (p. 13).
Publisher Information:New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987. 360p. Bibliography: 321-349; Chapter notes: 297-320; 59 figures; 1 graph; 3 illustrations; Index: 351-360
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