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Papers of the Week

2021 May 07

Int J Clin Exp Hypn

Neural Mechanisms of Hypnosis and Meditation-Induced Analgesia: A Narrative Review.


De Benedittis G
Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2021 May 07:1-20.
PMID: 33960912.


Meditation and hypnosis have both been found to attenuate pain; however, little is known about similarities and differences in the cognitive modulation of pain. Hypnotic and meditative states (e.g., mindfulness) reduce pain by sharing and overlapping multiple neuro-cognitive mechanisms, but they differ in many respects. While there are overlapping brain networks involved, the nature of these effects seems different. Both phenomena involve frontal modulation of pain-related areas. The role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appears to depend, in hypnosis, on the type of suggestion given and, in meditation, on the level of practice. Whereas the anterior cingulate cortex seems to be a key node in both hypnosis and meditation, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appears to engage in hypnosis as a function of suggestion and, in meditation, as a function of proficiency.