Hypnotic depth and response to suggestion under standardized conditions and during FMRI scanning

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007 Jan;55(1):32-58. doi: 10.1080/00207140600995844.


Hypnosis is a potentially valuable cognitive tool for neuroimaging studies. However, understandable concern that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in particular may adversely affect hypnotic procedures remains. Measurements of hypnotic depth and responsiveness to suggestions were taken using a standardized procedure that met all the requirements for functional MRI (fMRI). Testing outside the scanning environment showed reliable and stable changes in subjective hypnotic depth, with no carryover once the hypnosis had been terminated. Within-subject comparisons showed that the magnitude and pattern of these changes and the degree of responsiveness to hypnotic suggestion were not discernibly affected by the fMRI environment. It is concluded that hypnosis can be employed as a discrete and reliable cognitive tool within fMRI neuroimaging settings.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Social Environment
  • Suggestion*