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Hypnosis, CEN and DN Networks

Our review highlighted the CEN (Central Executive Network), SN (Salience Network) and DN (Default Network) as key networks implicated in hypnotic susceptibility, hypnotic induction, and response to hypnotic suggestions. Activity and connectivity both within and between these higher-order networks seem to support mental absorption and facilitate the deployment of reliable top-down strategies for producing hypnotic responses. In addition, these network dynamics may contribute to reduced awareness of extraneous events and decreased episodes of mind-wandering.

Our overarching synthesis highlights novel ways to link higher-order neurocognitive processes with hypnotic phenomena. We carried out the ALE (Activation Likelihood Estimates) meta-analysis to quantify brain patterns associated with hypnosis. However, instead of confirming the role of higher-order networks, our ALE analysis revealed that hypnotic responses correlate most robustly with activation of the lingual gyrus, likely indexing mental imagery. Whereas several limitations may account for the absence of predicted CEN, SN or DN clusters in our meta-analysis, our results nonetheless invite researchers to explore hypotheses beyond the top-down model of hypnosis.

Landry, M., Lifshitz, M., Raz, A. (2017). Brain correlates of hypnosis: A systematic review and meta-analytic exploration. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 81, Part A, October 2017, 75-98