Comparisons of activations associated with painful versus nonpainful stimulation commonly reveal foci within posterior portions of the anterior cingulate cortex, in regions caudal and inferior to those observed in complex cognitive tasks. The anterior cingulate cortex is typically thought to be involved in processing the affective or motivational significance of painful stimuli. For example, the anterior cingulate cortex can be selectively activated by an illusion of pain (the "thermal grill,'' in which spatially interleaved warm and cool bars produce the illusion of noxious cold), compared with activations associated with either warm or cool components in isolation. This result suggests the involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex in subjective pain rather than the sensory coding of intensity. Consistent with this hypothesis is the finding that hypnotic suggestion to selectively manipulate ratings of pain unpleasantness while keeping perceived intensity constant positively correlated with activation in a caudal gyral region of the anterior cingulate cortex.

Studies of pain processing have, on occasion, revealed activation in rostral-ventral anterior cingu-late cortex and in the caudal region usually activated during complex cognitive tasks. The former finding may reflect an affective or autonomic response to pain or the anticipation of pain. The latter finding may reflect cognitive processing of pain: such activations are observed, for example, when subjects are required to pay attention to the painful stimuli in order to keep count of the number of changes in stimulus intensity. Alternatively, the activity observed in the anterior cingulate cortex in response to pain may be associated with the representation of competing actions to make in response to the painful stimulus, such as avoidance versus tolerance of pain.

A Practial Guide To Self Hypnosis

A Practial Guide To Self Hypnosis

Hypnosis has been defined as a state of heightened suggestibility in which the subject is able to uncritically accept ideas for self-improvement and act on them appropriately. When a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, it is known as hetero-hypnosis. When an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, it is known as self-hypnosis.

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