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Hypnotic induction decreases anterior default mode activity

McGeown, William J.; Mazzoni, Giuliana; Venneri, Annalena; Kirsch, Irving


William J. McGeown

Giuliana Mazzoni

Annalena Venneri

Irving Kirsch


The 'default mode' network refers to cortical areas that are active in the absence of goal-directed activity. In previous studies, decreased activity in the 'default mode' has always been associated with increased activation in task-relevant areas. We show that the induction of hypnosis can reduce anterior default mode activity during rest without increasing activity in other cortical regions. We assessed brain activation patterns of high and low suggestible people while resting in the fMRI scanner and while engaged in visual tasks, in and out of hypnosis. High suggestible participants in hypnosis showed decreased brain activity in the anterior parts of the default mode circuit. In low suggestible people, hypnotic induction produced no detectable changes in these regions, but instead deactivated areas involved in alertness. The findings indicate that hypnotic induction creates a distinctive and unique pattern of brain activation in highly suggestible subjects. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


McGeown, W. J., Mazzoni, G., Venneri, A., & Kirsch, I. (2009). Hypnotic induction decreases anterior default mode activity. Consciousness and cognition, 18(4), 848-855.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 27, 2009
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2009
Publication Date Dec 31, 2009
Print ISSN 1053-8100
Electronic ISSN 1090-2376
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 4
Pages 848-855
Keywords Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Developmental and Educational Psychology
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