Hypnosis can be considered an altered state of consciousness in which individuals produce movements under suggestion without apparent voluntary control. Despite its application in contexts implying motor control, evidence for the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying hypnosis is scarce. Inter-individual differences in hypnotic susceptibility suggest that sensorimotor strategies may manifest in a hypnotic state. We tested by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation applied over the primary motor cortex whether motor system activation during a motor imagery task differs in the awake and in the hypnotic state. To capture individual differences, 30 healthy volunteers were classified as high or low hypnotizable (Highs and Lows) according to ad-hoc validated scales measuring hypnotic susceptibility and personality questionnaires. Corticospinal activation during motor imagery in the hypnotic state was greater in the Highs than the Lows. Intrinsic motivation in task performance and level of persuasion modulated corticospinal activation in the Highs. Corticospinal system activation under hypnosis may have practical implications that merit research in areas where hypnosis can be applied to improve motor performance, such as loss of motor abilities and sports.

Hypnosis-induced modulation of corticospinal excitability during motor imagery

Cesari, Paola
;
Benedetti, Sara;Emadi Andani, Mehran;Fiorio, Mirta
2020

Abstract

Hypnosis can be considered an altered state of consciousness in which individuals produce movements under suggestion without apparent voluntary control. Despite its application in contexts implying motor control, evidence for the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying hypnosis is scarce. Inter-individual differences in hypnotic susceptibility suggest that sensorimotor strategies may manifest in a hypnotic state. We tested by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation applied over the primary motor cortex whether motor system activation during a motor imagery task differs in the awake and in the hypnotic state. To capture individual differences, 30 healthy volunteers were classified as high or low hypnotizable (Highs and Lows) according to ad-hoc validated scales measuring hypnotic susceptibility and personality questionnaires. Corticospinal activation during motor imagery in the hypnotic state was greater in the Highs than the Lows. Intrinsic motivation in task performance and level of persuasion modulated corticospinal activation in the Highs. Corticospinal system activation under hypnosis may have practical implications that merit research in areas where hypnosis can be applied to improve motor performance, such as loss of motor abilities and sports.
Psychology
Neuroscience
Human behaviour
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1026614
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