Intelligent design or designed intelligence? Hypnotizability as neurobiological adaptation

David Spiegel

in The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780198570097
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Intelligent design or designed intelligence? Hypnotizability as neurobiological adaptation

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Recent neurobiological research has demonstrated genetic evidence for hypnotizability as a trait, involving the dopamine pathway. This article explains neurological adaptations and functions that are involved in readying hypnotizability and further describes the complex issues in the neurobiology of hypnosis and hypnotizability in the field of research. It has by now been well established that hypnotic alteration of perception is accompanied by measurable changes in brain electrical activity and blood flow. A major issue in the field now is the extent to which hypnotic perceptual alteration in general and hypnotic analgesia in particular can be accounted for by attentional shifts versus changes in primary perceptual processing. As brain imaging techniques have become more sophisticated, they enable the improvement of temporal, spatial, and functional resolution of brain activity during hypnosis, and therefore allow for the better identification of differences among low and high hypnotizables.

Keywords: positive hallucination; brain imaging technique; schizophrenia; idiosyncratic phenomenon; dopamine pathway

Article.  13208 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Neuropsychology

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