Brainwave Confirmation of Hypnotic States
New research from the University of Hull, published this week in Consciousness and Cognition, however shows that hypnosis is real.
Psychologists have discovered that basic brain activity undergoes change when people are hypnotised. Dr William McGeown and his colleagues in the department of Psychology and Centre for Clinical Neuroscience hypnotised university students and looked at brain activity, employing a technique called functional magnetic imaging (fMRI).
The research team included Professor Irving Kirsch, a world-known expert in hypnosis, Professor Annalena Venneri, an expert in brain imaging techniques and Professor Giuliana Mazzoni, an expert in suggestion and suggestibility.
Hypnosis studies usually require participants to do a task and researchers look at their brain activity during this time.
In this experiment however, student's brain activity was monitored in the rest periods between each task. This is the first time a hypnosis study has investigated brain activity in this manner; studying participants in rest whilst they are not performing any particular task.