The researchers published an article in the respected, PLoS One journal, showing alterations in hypnotized subjects' automatic responses. The scientific community has long been divided over whether hypnosis was merely social compliance or a verifiable state, different from normal waking consciousness. Research now suggests it is an actual distinct state of consciousness.
The Scandinavian scientists focused their study on the eye movements of people in and out of the hypnotic state. They found that the glazed over stare, so often associated with hypnosis in popular imaginings, does in fact indicate a state change. The researchers presented hypnotized subjects with eye tracking tasks that create automatic reflexive eye movements. It was found that there were measurable differences in the responses of hypnotized subjects verses normal waking subjects. Those who were not hypnotized could not reproduce the same eye responses.