Neuro-hypnotism: prospects for hypnosis and neuroscience

Cortex. 2013 Feb;49(2):365-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.05.016. Epub 2012 Jun 5.


The neurophysiological substrates of hypnosis have been subject to speculation since the phenomenon got its name. Until recently, much of this research has been geared toward understanding hypnosis itself, including the biological bases of individual differences in hypnotizability, state-dependent changes in cortical activity occurring with the induction of hypnosis, and the neural correlates of response to particular hypnotic suggestions (especially the clinically useful hypnotic analgesia). More recently, hypnosis has begun to be employed as a method for manipulating subjects' mental states, both cognitive and affective, to provide information about the neural substrates of experience, thought, and action. This instrumental use of hypnosis is particularly well-suited for identifying the neural correlates of conscious and unconscious perception and memory, and of voluntary and involuntary action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia
  • Electroencephalography
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Neurosciences*
  • Suggestion