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Hypnosis: new research teases out what actually happens
A group of neuroscientists and psychologists published “Brain Activity and Functionality Associated with Hypnosis” in Cerebral Cortex, published online on 7-28-16 and reported in the New York Times in their article “Is Hypnosis All in Your Head? Brain Scans Suggest Otherwise.” The NYT article provides an interesting brief overview of the history of therapeutic hypnosis and the question of whether the effects of hypnosis are “all in the head” – the person just thinks that something different is happening, or whether brain functioning actually changes during hypnosis. It is not surprising that this research study, which used functional magnetic resonance imaging, found, “….changes in neural activity underlie the focused attention, enhanced somatic and emotional control, and lack of self-consciousness that characterizes hypnosis.”