Studien und Forschungsfelder


Ludwig, V.U., Stelzel, C., Kru­tiak, H., Magrabi, A., Steimke, R., Paschke, L.M., Kath­mann, N., Walter, H.

The suggestible brain: posthypnotic effects on value-based decision-making
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Advance Access, August 2013

Hypnosis can affect perception, motor function and memory. However, so far no study using neuroimaging has investigated whether hypnosis can influence reward processing and decision-making. Here, we assessed whether posthypnotic suggestions can diminish the attractiveness of unhealthy food and whether this is more effective than diminishing attractiveness by ones own effort via autosuggestion. In total, 16 participants were hypnotized and 16 others were instructed to associate a color cue (blue or green) with disgust regarding specific snacks (sweet or salty). Afterwards, participants bid for snack items shown on an either blue or green background during functional magnetic resonance imaging measurement. Both hypnosis and autosuggestion successfully devalued snacks. This was indicated by participants decision-making, their self-report and by decreased blood oxygen level- dependent signal in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), a region known to represent value. Different vmPFC subregions coded for cue and snack type. The cue had significantly stronger effects on vmPFC after hypnosis than after autosuggestion, indicating that hypnosis was more effective in genuinely reducing value. Supporting previous findings, the precuneus was involved in the hypnotic effects by encoding whether a snack was sweet or salty during hypnotic cue presentation. Our results demonstrate that posthypnotic suggestions can influence valuation and decision-making.

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Ludwig, V.U., Stelzel, C., Kru­tiak, H., Prunkl, C.E., Steimke, R., Paschke, L.M., Kath­mann, N., Walter, H.

Im­pul­si­vity, self-con­trol, and hyp­notic sug­ge­s­ti­bi­lity.
Con­s­cious­ness and Co­gni­tion Vo­lume 22, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 637–653

Hyp­notic re­spon­ding might be due to at­te­nu­ated frontal lobe func­tio­ning after the hyp­notic in­duc­tion. Little is known about whe­ther per­so­na­lity traits linked with frontal func­tio­ning are as­so­ciated with re­spon­siveness to hyp­notic sug­ge­s­tions. We as­sessed whe­ther hyp­notic sug­ge­s­ti­bi­lity is re­lated to the traits of self-con­trol and im­pul­si­vity in 154 par­ti­ci­pants who com­pleted the Brief Self-Con­trol Scale, the Self-Re­gu­la­tion Scale, the Bar­ratt Im­pul­siveness Scale (BIS-11), and the Har­vard Group Scale of Hyp­notic Suscep­ti­bi­lity (HGSHS:A). BIS-11 non-plan­ning im­pul­si­vity cor­re­lated po­si­tively with HGSHS:A (Bon­fer­roni-cor­rected). Fur­ther­more, in the best model emer­ging from a step­wise mul­tiple re­gres­sion, both non-plan­ning im­pul­si­vity and self-con­trol po­si­tively pre­dicted hyp­notic sug­ge­s­ti­bi­lity, and there was an in­ter­ac­tion of BIS-11 motor im­pul­si­vity with gender. For men only, motor im­pul­si­vity tended to pre­dict hyp­notic sug­ge­s­ti­bi­lity. Hyp­notic sug­ge­s­ti­bi­lity is as­so­ciated with per­so­na­lity traits linked with frontal func­tio­ning, and hyp­notic re­spon­ding in men and women might differ.

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Ei­gent­lich un­be­ab­sich­tigt ge­lang es dem Neu­ro­psy­cho­logen Ro­bert Ader 1975 die erste kon­di­tio­nierte Re­ak­tion des Im­mun­sys­tems nach­zu­weisen. Dies war die Ge­burts­stunde der Psy­cho­Neu­roIm­mu­no­logie (PNI), welche sich mit den In­ter­ak­tionen des Im­mun­sys­tems, Zen­tral­ner­ven­system, Hor­mon­system und Um­welt be­schäf­tigt. Aus den bis­lang vor­lie­genden Er­geb­nissen lassen sich Kon­se­quenzen für die hyp­no­the­ra­peu­ti­sche Be­hand­lung im­mu­no­lo­gisch her­aus­ge­for­derter Pa­ti­enten ableiten.


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Harald Krutiak, Dipl.-Psych.

Psychologischer Psychotherapeut

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