JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Alcohol increases hypnotic susceptibility.

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.

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