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Conscious Cogn. 2013 Sep;22(3):1082-91. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Aug 17.

Alcohol increases hypnotic susceptibility.

Author information

  • 1Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science and the School of Psychology, University of Sussex, UK. Electronic address: rebeccajsw@gmail.com.

Abstract

One approach to hypnosis suggests that for hypnotic experience to occur frontal lobe activity must be attenuated. For example, cold control theory posits that a lack of awareness of intentions is responsible for the experience of involuntariness and/or the subjective reality of hypnotic suggestions. The mid-dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex and the ACC are candidate regions for such awareness. Alcohol impairs frontal lobe executive function. This study examined whether alcohol affects hypnotisability. We administered 0.8 mg/kg of alcohol or a placebo to 32 medium susceptible participants. They were subsequently hypnotised and given hypnotic suggestions. All participants believed they had received some alcohol. Participants in the alcohol condition were more susceptible to hypnotic suggestions than participants in the placebo condition. Impaired frontal lobe activity facilitates hypnotic responding, which supports theories postulating that attenuation of executive function facilitates hypnotic response, and contradicts theories postulating that hypnotic response involves enhanced inhibitory, attentional or other executive function.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; Cold control theory; Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Higher order thought theory; Hypnosis

PMID:
23958795
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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