Understanding hypnosis metacognitively: rTMS applied to left DLPFC increases hypnotic suggestibility

Dienes, Zoltan and Hutton, Sam (2013) Understanding hypnosis metacognitively: rTMS applied to left DLPFC increases hypnotic suggestibility. Cortex, 49 (2). pp. 386-392. ISSN 0010-9452

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: According to the cold control theory of hypnosis (Dienes and Perner, 2007), hypnotic response occurs because of inaccurate higher order thoughts of intending. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is a region likely involved in constructing accurate higher order thoughts. Thus, disrupting DLPFC with low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) should make it harder to be aware of intending to perform an action. That is, it should be easier to respond to a hypnotic suggestion.

METHOD: Twenty-four medium hypnotisable subjects received low frequency rTMS to the left DLPFC and to a control site, the vertex, in counterbalanced order. The hypnotist was blind to which site had been stimulated. Subjects rated how strongly they expected to respond to each suggestion, and gave ratings on a 0-5 scale of the extent to which they experienced the response, for four suggestions (magnetic hands, arm levitation, rigid arm and taste hallucination). The experimenter also rated behavioural response.

RESULTS: Low frequency rTMS to the DLPFC rather than vertex increased the degree of combined behavioural and subjective response. Further, subjects did not differ in their expectancy that they would respond in the two conditions, so the rTMS had an effect on hypnotic response above and beyond expectancies.

CONCLUSIONS: The results support theories, including cold control theory, postulating a component of hypofrontality in hypnotic response.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 13:33
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2013 13:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/42764
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