Research over the past decade has helped to demystify hypnosis and meditation, bringing these practices into the scientific and clinical mainstream. Yet, while hypnosis and meditation overlap on many levels, few scientific accounts have explored their complementary rapprochement. Despite cultural and historical differences, hypnosis and meditation share common phenomenology, cognitive processes, and potential therapeutic merits. This book provides a synthesis of knowledge concerning the bridging of hypnosis and meditation. The authors adopt a trans-disciplinary approach considering cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives to elucidate contemporary questions in cognitive, neurobiological, and clinical science. The book explores the relationship between hypnosis and meditation in five progressive sections: Part 1 investigates historical, cultural, and philosophical issues to contextualize the scientific study of contemplative practices. Part 2 presents a range of views concerning the similarities and differences between hypnosis and meditation. Part 3 explores the psychological and cognitive mechanisms at work.
Part 4 integrates recent brain imaging findings to unravel the neural underpinnings. Finally, part 5 examines how juxtaposing hypnosis and meditation can enhance clinical applications. Hypnosis and Meditation is a valuable resource to both specialists as well as interested lay readers, and paves the road to a more unified science of how attention influences states of brain, body, and consciousness.
Professor Raz earned his Ph.D. in Brain Science from the Interdisciplinary Center for Computational Neuroscience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of the late Professor Shlomo Bentin. He then went on to a post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Michael Posner at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he took on a faculty position thereafter. He then joined the faculty at Columbia University in the City of New York and later became the Canada Research Chair at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Michael is a doctoral student investigating the science of contemplative experience in the Raz Lab at McGill University. His research centers on comparing approaches to the transformation of consciousness - ranging from meditation to hypnosis, placebos, and psychedelics. Working from the vantage of neurophenomenology, Michael aims to synthesize knowledge of various contemplative practices to advance the science of attention, consciousness, and meta-cognition. Michael's work is supported through a Vanier Graduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and a Mind & Life Institute Francisco J. Varela Research Award. He completed a master's degree in the Integrated Program of Neuroscience at the Raz Lab, and an undergraduate degree with honors in psychology and minors in philosophy and world religions - both at McGill University.
SECTION I - INTRODUCTION; SECTION II - PHILOSOPHICAL, HISTORICAL, AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES; SECTION III - SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES; SECTION IV - COGNITIVE MECHANISMS; SECTION V - NEURAL UNDERPINNINGS; SECTION VI - CLINICAL APPLICATIONS; SECTION VII - CONCLUSION