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  • Psychologists, doctors, dentists, and other professionals use hypnosis every day
  • Scientists use hypnosis as a research tool to understand how the mind works
  • It is an evidence-based treatment for a variety of conditions including pain
Recently published hypnosis research

Brain correlates of hypnosis: A systematic review and meta-analytic exploration (2017)

Mathieu Landry, Michael Lifshitz, Amir Raz

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

Imaging of the living human brain elucidates the neural dynamics of hypnosis; however, few reliable brain patterns emerge across studies. Here, we methodically assess neuroimaging assays of hypnosis to uncover common neural configurations using a twofold approach. First, we systematically review research on the neural correlates of hypnotic phenomena; then, we meta-analyze these collective data seeking specific activation and deactivation patterns that typify hypnosis. Anchored around the ...

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The Prefrontal Cortex and Suggestion: Hypnosis vs. Placebo Effects (2016)

Benjamin A. Parris*

Frontiers In Psychology

Suggestion has been defined as a form of communicable ideation or belief, that once accepted has the capacity to exert profound changes on a person's mood, thoughts, perceptions and behaviors (Halligan and Oakley, 2014). The prefrontal region (the region of the frontal cortex anterior to the motor areas) of the human cerebral cortex appears to play an important role in suggestion (Asp et al., 2012). Children, with still-developing prefrontal cortices, are more susceptible to suggestion (Ceci et al., 1987; Bruck and Ceci, 1995). Older adu...

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Suggestions to Reduce Clinical Fibromyalgia Pain and Experimentally Induced Pain Produce Parallel Effects on Perceived Pain but Divergent Functional MRI–Based Brain Activity (2016)

Stuart W.G. Derbyshire, Matthew G. Whalley, Stanley T.H. Seah, and David A. Oakley,

Psychosomatic Medicine

Objective: Hypnotic suggestion is an empirically validated form of pain control; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Methods: Thirteen fibromyalgia patients received suggestions to alter their clinical pain, and 15 healthy controls received suggestions to alter experimental heat pain. Suggestions were delivered before and after hypnotic induction with ...

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New directions in hypnosis research: strategies for advancing the cognitive and clinical neuroscience of hypnosis (2017)

Mark P. Jensen, Graham A. Jamieson, Antoine Lutz, Giuliana Mazzoni, William J. McGeown, Enrica L. Santarcangelo, Athena Demertzi, Vilfredo De Pascalis, Eva I. Banyai, Christian Rominger, Patrik Vuilleumier, Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville, Devin B. Terhune

Neuroscience of Consciousness (2017) 3 (1): nix004.

This article summarizes key advances in hypnosis research during the past two decades, including (i) clinical research supporting the efficacy of hypnosis for managing a number of clinical symptoms and conditions, (ii) research support...

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Improving working memory performance in brain-injured patients using hypnotic suggestion (2017)

Jonas K. Lindeløv, Rikke Overgaard, Morten Overgaard

Brain (2017) 140 (4): 1100-1106.

Working memory impairment is prevalent in brain injured patients across lesion aetiologies and severities. Unfortunately, rehabilitation efforts for this impairment have hitherto yielded small or no effects. Here we show in a randomized actively controlled trial that working memory performance can be effectively restored by suggesting to hypnotized patients that they have regained their pre-injury level of working memory functioning. Following four 1-h sessions, 27 patien...

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