A controlled investigation of right hemispheric processing enhancement after restricted environmental stimulation (REST) with floatation

Psychol Med. 1994 May;24(2):457-62. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700027422.


Two groups of 16 subjects, 8 of each gender, were examined on two occasions, one group before and after restricted environmental stimulation with floatation, and the other group without floatation was the control group. They were examined with a tactile object discrimination task carried out with each hand separately while blindfolded, and with a recognition memory test for words and unfamiliar faces, a test validated on neurological patients with left and right hemispheric lesions respectively. Consistent with both tasks the floatation group showed a significantly greater enhancement of right hemispheric processing after floatation than was found when retesting the controls. The results were distinguished from previous research on hypnosis where the same relative state of hemispheric imbalance was achieved with the same tasks, but largely through inhibitory influences on the left hemisphere.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal*
  • Attention*
  • Dominance, Cerebral*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Sensory Deprivation*
  • Stereognosis
  • Verbal Learning