Special Issue "Hypnotizability and Hypnosis: Basic and Clinical Science"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 April 2023) | Viewed by 947

Special Issue Editors

Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: physiological correlates of hypnotizability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Peter Naish
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Interests: clinical hypnosis; correlates of hypnotizability and hypnosis
Department of Psychology, Niccolò Cusano University, Rome, Italy
Interests: psychophysiological correlates of hypnotizability and hypnosis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hypnotizability is the degree to which a person can generate modified experiences by reducing bottom-up, sensory-driven processes, and instead placing emphasis on top-down, concept-driven processing. Usually, these effects occur in response to suggestions, which are normally preceded by an induction. The ability to achieve such “hypnotic effects” implies considerable cognitive flexibility. Unsurprisingly, there are cognitive-emotional and physiological correlates of hypnotizability that are detectable outside of the hypnosis context, i.e., in everyday life.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect novel contributions from scientists and clinicians in order to highlight the role of hypnotizability and hypnosis in cognitive science, neurophysiology, integrative physiology and medical disciplines from the perspective of a body–mind interaction.

Studies of the differences and similarities between hypnotic and placebo responses, hypnosis and other altered states of consciousness, and pharmacological and physical treatments are welcome. Case reports will not be considered for publication.

Dr. Enrica L. Santarcangelo
Dr. Peter Naish
Dr. Rinaldo L. Perri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • hypnotizability
  • hypnosis
  • imagery
  • expectation
  • placebo
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • clinical sciences

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Is Hypnotic Induction Necessary to Experience Hypnosis and Responsible for Changes in Brain Activity?
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(6), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13060875 - 29 May 2023
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The relevance of formal hypnotic induction to the experience of trance and its neural correlates is not clear, in that hypnotizability, beliefs and expectation of hypnosis may play a major role. The aim of the study was assessing the EEG brain activity of [...] Read more.
The relevance of formal hypnotic induction to the experience of trance and its neural correlates is not clear, in that hypnotizability, beliefs and expectation of hypnosis may play a major role. The aim of the study was assessing the EEG brain activity of participants with high (highs) or low hypnotizability scores (lows), aware of their hypnotizability level and informed that the session will include simple relaxation, formal hypnotic induction and neutral hypnosis. A total of 16 highs and 15 lows (according to the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, form A) were enrolled. Their EEGs were recorded during consecutive conditions of open/closed-eyes relaxation, hypnotic induction, neutral hypnosis and post hypnosis not interrupted by interviews. The studied variables were theta, alpha and gamma power spectral density (PSD), and the Determinism (DET) and Entropy (ENT) of the EEG signal Multidimensional Recurrence Plot (mRP). Highs reported significantly greater changes in their state of consciousness than lows across the session. The theta, alpha and gamma PSD did not exhibit condition-related changes in both groups. The Alpha PSD was larger in highs than in lows on midline sites, and the different sides/regions’ theta and gamma PSD were observed in the two groups independently from conditions. ENT showed no correlation with hypnotizability, while DET positively correlated with hypnotizability during hypnosis. In conclusion, the relevance of formal hypnotic induction to the experience of trance may be scarce in highs, as they are aware of their hypnotizability scores and expecting hypnosis. Cognitive processing varies throughout the session depending on the hypnotizability level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hypnotizability and Hypnosis: Basic and Clinical Science)
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