Using multi-modal brain imaging techniques we found pronounced changes in neuronal activity after hypnotic trance induction whereby state changes seem to occur synchronously with the specific induction instructions. In clinical patients, hypnosis proved to be a powerful method in inhibiting the reaction of the fear circuitry structures. The aim of the present paper is to critically discuss the limitations of the current neuroscientific research database in the light of a debate in defining relevant hypnotic constructs and to suggest ideas for future research projects. We discuss the role of hypnotic suggestibility (HS), the impact of hypnotic inductions and the importance of the depth of hypnotic trance. We argue that future research on brain imaging studies on the effects of hypnosis and hypnotherapy should focus on the analysis of individual cross-network activation patterns. A most promising approach is to simultaneously include physiological parameters linked to cognitive, somatic, and behavioral effects.
Am J Clin Hypn. 2021 Apr;63(4):372-388. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2020.1863185.