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Alterations in electrodermal activity and cardiac parasympathetic tone during hypnosis

Kekecs, Zoltán LU ; Szekely, Anna and Varga, Katalin (2016) In Psychophysiology 53(2). p.268-277
Abstract

Exploring autonomic nervous system (ANS) changes during hypnosis is critical for understanding the nature and extent of the hypnotic phenomenon and for identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypnosis in different medical conditions. To assess ANS changes during hypnosis, electrodermal activity and pulse rate variability (PRV) were measured in 121 young adults. Participants either received hypnotic induction (hypnosis condition) or listened to music (control condition), and both groups were exposed to test suggestions. Blocks of silence and experimental sound stimuli were presented at baseline, after induction, and after de-induction. Skin conductance level (SCL) and high frequency (HF) power of PRV measured at each phase... (More)

Exploring autonomic nervous system (ANS) changes during hypnosis is critical for understanding the nature and extent of the hypnotic phenomenon and for identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypnosis in different medical conditions. To assess ANS changes during hypnosis, electrodermal activity and pulse rate variability (PRV) were measured in 121 young adults. Participants either received hypnotic induction (hypnosis condition) or listened to music (control condition), and both groups were exposed to test suggestions. Blocks of silence and experimental sound stimuli were presented at baseline, after induction, and after de-induction. Skin conductance level (SCL) and high frequency (HF) power of PRV measured at each phase were compared between groups. Hypnosis decreased SCL compared to the control condition; however, there were no group differences in HF power. Furthermore, hypnotic suggestibility did not moderate ANS changes in the hypnosis group. These findings indicate that hypnosis reduces tonic sympathetic nervous system activity, which might explain why hypnosis is effective in the treatment of disorders with strong sympathetic nervous system involvement, such as rheumatoid arthritis, hot flashes, hypertension, and chronic pain. Further studies with different control conditions are required to examine the specificity of the sympathetic effects of hypnosis.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Autonomic nervous system, Electrodermal activity, Heart rate variability, Hypnosis, Hypnotic suggestibility
in
Psychophysiology
volume
53
issue
2
pages
10 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84955727620
ISSN
0048-5772
DOI
10.1111/psyp.12570
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
f1a7fee1-a821-4951-a8f5-657a731fcc0c
date added to LUP
2017-03-27 15:51:44
date last changed
2017-09-24 05:09:08
@article{f1a7fee1-a821-4951-a8f5-657a731fcc0c,
  abstract     = {<p>Exploring autonomic nervous system (ANS) changes during hypnosis is critical for understanding the nature and extent of the hypnotic phenomenon and for identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypnosis in different medical conditions. To assess ANS changes during hypnosis, electrodermal activity and pulse rate variability (PRV) were measured in 121 young adults. Participants either received hypnotic induction (hypnosis condition) or listened to music (control condition), and both groups were exposed to test suggestions. Blocks of silence and experimental sound stimuli were presented at baseline, after induction, and after de-induction. Skin conductance level (SCL) and high frequency (HF) power of PRV measured at each phase were compared between groups. Hypnosis decreased SCL compared to the control condition; however, there were no group differences in HF power. Furthermore, hypnotic suggestibility did not moderate ANS changes in the hypnosis group. These findings indicate that hypnosis reduces tonic sympathetic nervous system activity, which might explain why hypnosis is effective in the treatment of disorders with strong sympathetic nervous system involvement, such as rheumatoid arthritis, hot flashes, hypertension, and chronic pain. Further studies with different control conditions are required to examine the specificity of the sympathetic effects of hypnosis.</p>},
  author       = {Kekecs, Zoltán and Szekely, Anna and Varga, Katalin},
  issn         = {0048-5772},
  keyword      = {Autonomic nervous system,Electrodermal activity,Heart rate variability,Hypnosis,Hypnotic suggestibility},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {268--277},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Psychophysiology},
  title        = {Alterations in electrodermal activity and cardiac parasympathetic tone during hypnosis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12570},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2016},
}