Cerebral activation patterns during the first three auto-suggestive phases of autogenic training (AT) were investigated in relation to perceived experiences. Nineteen volunteers trained in AT and 19 controls were studied with fMRI during the first steps of autogenic training. FMRI revealed activation of the left postcentral areas during AT in those with experience in AT, which also correlated with the level of AT experience. Activation of prefrontal and insular cortex was significantly higher in the group with experience in AT while insular activation was correlated with number years of simple relaxation exercises. Specific activation in subjects experienced in AT may represent a training effect. Furthermore, the correlation of insular activation suggests that these subjects are different from untrained subjects in emotional processing or self-awareness.
Schlamann M, Naglatzki R, de Greiff A, Forsting M, Gizewski ER. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2010 Oct;58(4):444-56. University Hospital Essen and University Duisburg-Essen, Germany.