Amélie Van Caekenberghe - PhD student (aspirant FNRS)
Hypnosis is used to treat a wide variety of diseases and symptoms. It is used, for example, as an anesthetic technique to relieve pain. However, the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying hypnotic analgesia are still poorly understood. My project aims to show, using psychophysics and neurophysiology, that hypnotic analgesia relies on the cognitive ability to control the flow of sensory information in the brain, by selectively modifying the responses to pain stimuli applied on the part of the body on which the hypnosis is focused, which could in turn prevent pain from sensitizing the central nervous system (a mechanism by which the brain amplifies its responses to sensory stimuli, and supposed to be involved in chronic pain).