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Panic! Affect Contagion, Mimesis and Suggestion in the Social Field

Anna Gibbs
Cultural Studies Review, 2008, 14: 2.


Julian Jaynes, writing brilliantly and eccentrically in 1976, sees trance states as a reactivation of the 'neural patterning' associated with a stage in human development before the invention of consciousness. Jaynes sees the 'bicameral paradigm' as comprising 'collective cognitive imperative, induction, trance, and archaic authorization, so for him neither trance - nor mimesis - originate in affect contagion or sympathy. He argues, rather, that trance and various forms of everyday distraction are quite distinctly different phenomena.