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Cajal's brief experimentation with hypnotic suggestion.

Research paper by Maria M Stefanidou, Carme C Solà, Elias E Kouvelas, Manuel M del Cerro, Lazaros C LC Triarhou

Indexed on: 30 Oct '07Published on: 30 Oct '07Published in: Journal of the history of the neurosciences



Abstract

Spanish histologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal, one of the most notable figures in Neuroscience, and winner, along with Camillo Golgi, of the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries on the structure of the nervous system, did not escape experimenting with some of the psychiatric techniques available at the time, mainly hypnotic suggestion, albeit briefly. While a physician in his thirties, Cajal published a short article under the title, "Pains of labour considerably attenuated by hypnotic suggestion" in Gaceta Médica Catalana. That study may be Cajal's only documented case in the field of experimental psychology. We here provide an English translation of the original Spanish text, placing it historically within Cajal's involvement with some of the key scientific and philosophical issues at the time.