Neuropsychology of hypnosis at Dublin science cafe

I shall be giving a talk at the Dublin science cafe on Thursday 12th July on the neuropsychology of hypnosis. Come along if you’re in the area and would like to join the discussion.

The talk will happen at The Mercantile on Dame Street. We’ll kick off at 7.45pm, it’s free to attend and everyone is welcome.

I’m relatively new to hypnosis research, having started working with a research team investigating the psychology and neuroscience of hypnotisability about a year ago, but am completely fascinated by this intriguing process.

Susceptibility to hypnosis differs between individuals, is stable across the lifespan, and is known to be partly inherited and has been linked to a specific dopamine modulating gene. In addition, structural and functional brain differences have also been found between people who differ in hypnotic suggestibility.

As well as discovering more about the intriguing process of hypnosis, this sort of research is helping us make sense of poorly understood disorders such as conversion disorder – where patients might experience paralysis despite having no detectable physical problems.

For example, one study found that similar brain areas are involved in paralysis linked to conversion disorder, and paralysis caused by hypnosis, perhaps indicating that suggestion plays a powerful role in conversion disorder syndromes.

Other studies have used hypnosis to investigate brain areas linked to experiences of external control in psychosis, pain relief and control of attention in healthy individuals.

I’ll be looking at some of these areas, and others, in the talk, but if you can’t make it, Dr Matt Whalley’s website on the science of hypnosis is probably the single best resource on the net.

Link to talk details.
Link to Dr Matt Whalley’s Hypnosis and Suggestion site.

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