It has been speculated that hypnosis engages primarily those higher and more anterior networks of attention, the ones that are well supplied by dopamine, including the anterior cingulate gyrus.
In this regard, hypnosis can generate a so-called obstructive visual hallucination. If "obstructive" were a word to be taken literally, it might seem to refer to an "obstruction projected out there'' that was somehow "blocking" a more distant object from being seen [Z:388-390]. However, when the whole process of hypnotic focusing becomes intensified, it heightens the person's attention on the imaginary image. Therefore, the mechanisms of this so-called obstruction are likely to be mediated by inhibitory functions of the reticular nucleus of the thalamus [Z:388-390]. This can explain why PET scans show a corresponding reduction of activity in the seemingly "blocked" area of the visual cortex, and why visual evoked potential amplitudes are also reduced.14
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For anyone concerned that this is a report designed to teach readers how to convince crowds of people to act like chickens or dance to an unheard song just with a carefully placed keyword - relax. While hypnosis is often paraded in that form with large crowds visiting celebrity hypnosis experts to see what wonders they can perform, the majority of hypnosis used is to aid people seeking a solution to a problem they cannot resolve easily with any other method.