Expectancies of the Future in Hypnotic Suggestions

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Abstract

Responses to hypnotic suggestions are inseparable from the expectations engendered by those suggestions. These expectancies both anticipate and bring about future states of the self in experience, behavior, and bodily physiology. Predictive coding (PC) is a computational-neuroscience architecture that translates expectations of the future into changes within the organism that realize those expectations through a process of active inference. The sense of involuntariness that accompanies hypnotic motor suggestions may be due to a PC mechanism that discriminates self from nonself among the causes of change in proprioceptive signals. The sense of reality that accompanies hypnotic delusions may be due to interoceptive PC, within the anterior insula, which suppresses activation of the salience network, stabilizing the generative models required to implement hypnotic responses against the effects of error signals generated by their clash with reality.

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