Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. -- Tim Brunson, PhD

NLP Research & Recognition Project

By Rich Liotta, PhD

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) originally grew out of diverse fields including Ericksonian hypnosis, Gestalt psychotherapy, systems theory, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the human potential movement. It has influenced the focus on brief therapy methods since the 1980's. Many of the findings in neuroscience indirectly support what NLP would predict regarding the neurology of emotional states, representation of experience, and behavioral change. NLP is widely used, in one form or another, in fields including psychotherapy, hypnosis, education, business, and medicine. Despite these connections, the scientific evidence of NLPs effectiveness is limited. Perhaps this is because it did not originate in academia or perhaps because those who use NLP are more focused on helping people with NLP, rather than documenting its effectiveness for facilitating change, enrichment, and symptom relief. Because the research validating the efficacy of NLP as an effective treatment and change technology has not been done, many don't have access to the effective methods and skills that practitioners of NLP use. Much of what NLP accomplishes needs to be researched and better understood. The NLP Research & Recognition Project was initiated to achieve the wider recognition among therapy, education and health care professionals that is warranted.


From monkey-like action recognition to human language: an evolutionary framework for neurolinguistic

The article analyzes the neural and functional grounding of language skills as well as their emergence in hominid evolution, hypothesizing stages leading from abilities known to exist in monkeys and apes and presumed to exist in our hominid ancestors right through to modern spoken and signed languages. The starting point is the observation that both premotor area F5 in monkeys and Broca's area in humans contain a "mirror system" active for both execution and observation of manual actions, and that F5 and Broca's area are homologous brain regions. This grounded the mirror system hypothesis of Rizzolatti and Arbib (1998) which offers the mirror system for grasping as a key neural "missing link" between the abilities of our nonhuman ancestors of 20 million years ago and modern human language, with manual gestures rather than a system for vocal communication providing the initial seed for this evolutionary process. The present article, however, goes "beyond the mirror" to offer hypotheses on evolutionary changes within and outside the mirror systems which may have occurred to equip Homo sapiens with a language-ready brain. Crucial to the early stages of this progression is the mirror system for grasping and its extension to permit imitation. Imitation is seen as evolving via a so-called simple system such as that found in chimpanzees (which allows imitation of complex "object-oriented" sequences but only as the result of extensive practice) to a so-called complex system found in humans (which allows rapid imitation even of complex sequences, under appropriate conditions) which supports pantomime. This is hypothesized to have provided the substrate for the development of protosign, a combinatorially open repertoire of manual gestures, which then provides the scaffolding for the emergence of protospeech (which thus owes little to nonhuman vocalizations), with protosign and protospeech then developing in an expanding spiral. It is argued that these stages involve biological evolution of both brain and body. By contrast, it is argued that the progression from protosign and protospeech to languages with full-blown syntax and compositional semantics was a historical phenomenon in the development of Homo sapiens, involving few if any further biological changes.

Behav Brain Sci. 2005 Apr;28(2):105-24; discussion 125-67.

Arbib MA.

Computer Science Department, Neuroscience Program, and USC Brain Project, University of Southem Califomia, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520, USA. arbib@pollux.usc.edu

Maternal programming of defensive responses through sustained effects on gene expression.

There are profound maternal effects on individual differences in defensive responses and reproductive strategies in species ranging literally from plants to insects to birds. Maternal effects commonly reflect the quality of the environment and are most likely mediated by the quality of the maternal provision (egg, propagule, etc.), which in turn determines growth rates and adult phenotype. In this paper we review data from the rat that suggest comparable forms of maternal effects on defensive responses stress, which are mediated by the effects of variations in maternal behavior on gene expression. Under conditions of environmental adversity maternal effects enhance the capacity for defensive responses in the offspring. In mammals, these effects appear to 'program' emotional, cognitive and endocrine systems towards increased sensitivity to adversity. In environments with an increased level of adversity, such effects can be considered adaptive, enhancing the probability of offspring survival to sexual maturity; the cost is that of an increased risk for multiple forms of pathology in later life.

Biol Psychol. 2006 Jul;73(1):72-89. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Zhang TY, Bagot R, Parent C, Nesbitt C, Bredy TW, Caldji C, Fish E, Anisman H, Szyf M, Meaney MJ.

McGill Program for the Study of Behavior, Genes and Environment, McGill University, Canada.

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