Enrico Facco

Enrico Facco
University of Padova | UNIPD · Dept. of Neurosciences

Doctor of Medicine
Pain, Anxiety and Phobias, Hypnosis, Epistemology, Consciousness, Non-Ordinary Mental Expressions (NOMEs), Acupuncture

About

198
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2,948
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April 2001 - December 2014
University of Padova
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (198)
Article
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In recent years, the term “quantum-like” has been increasingly used in different disciplines, including neurosciences, psychological and socio-economical disciplines, claiming that some investigated phenomena show “something” in common with quantum processes and, therefore, they can be modeled using a sort of quantum formalism. Thus, the increasing...
Article
The Theory of the Three Worlds (TTW) was introduced by Popper and Eccles in 1977 in the attempt to overcome the narrow limits of materialism and determinism in the comprehension of mind–brain and inner–outer world relationships. TTW involved huge epistemological implications and raised strong criticism. Here, a new neurophenomenological version of...
Article
The history of hypnosis has been marked by its effectiveness paralleled by prejudicial refusal, due to its ostensible incompatibility with the ruling Weltbild (picture of the world). Its interpretation has been mainly based on concepts like suggestibility, dissociation, hallucination, impairment of sense of agency, and free will. Nevertheless, litt...
Preprint
Full-text available
In recent years, the term quantum-like has been increasingly used in different disciplines, including neurosciences, psychological and socio-economical disciplines, claiming that some investigated phenomena show “something” in common with quantum processes and, therefore, they can be modeled using a sort of quantum formalism. Therefore, the increas...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience is a topic of paramount importance. Coined in physics and engineering, the use of this term has spread to industry, social sciences, biology, psychology, and psychiatry, and is now endowed with a wide range of meanings. Playing a central role in all critical life events, resilience is a topic of paramount importance in medicine as well a...
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The origin of hypnosis can be dated back to ancient philosophies and medicines. Incubation had been used in ancient Egypt and Greece for some three millennia with the same indications of modern hypnosis and was well-known by both Hippocrates and Parmenides. Then, it was dismantled by Christian hagiographic propaganda in 4-5th century AC and buried...
Article
Despite the huge development of pain management in the past decades, pain remains elusive and many patients still remain in the middle of the ford struggling between low drug efficacy and their overuse. A reason for pain elusiveness is its nature of subjective phenomenon, escaping the meshes of the objectivist, mechanist-reductionist net prevailing...
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Studies investigating the psychosomatic effects of social isolation in animals have shown that one of the physiologic system that gets disrupted by this environment-affective change is the Endocannabinoid System. As the levels of endocannabinoids change in limbic areas and prefrontal cortex during stressful times, so is the subject more prone to fe...
Article
Background and Overview Hypnosis, despite its effectiveness, has been neglected. The aim of this study is to show the effectiveness and manageability of hypnosis as a stand-alone technique in dentistry. Case Description Three patients underwent 6 oral surgery procedures (surgical third-molar removal, implant surgery, maxillary bone augmentation, a...
Preprint
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The debate about the nature of consciousness revolves around two opposing theories: a) consciousness is a byproduct of the brain; b) consciousness is primary and manifests some, but not all its characteristics, by using the brain that functions as a filter. Although ostensibly odd from the materialist standpoint, the idea of the primacy of consciou...
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Aim of this paper is to review the state of the art of so⎼called altered states of consciousness, anomalous experiences, and exceptional human experiences, showing the need for reappraising the whole topic and gather them under one roof. The term Non⎼Ordinary Mental Expressions (NOMEs) and a new classification of non⎼pathological ostensibly odd phe...
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Free will is a complex construct that includes critical reasoning, sense of ownership, and agency. The whole history of hypnosis has been linked to suggestibility. Little agreement has been reached, however, on exactly what we mean by suggestibility, and its role in hypnosis, despite the abundance of studies, hypotheses, and theories published to d...
Preprint
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The main aim of this paper is to support a metaphilosophical and metascientific approach to the study of Consciousness.After a brief historical resume of the debate between the mind-brain-body relationship, we discuss how the apparently irreducible contention between a physicalist and an anti-physicalist interpretation of Consciousness can be overc...
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Compelling literature has suggested the possibility of adopting hypnotic suggestions to override the Stroop interference effect. However, most of these studies mainly reported behavioral data and were conducted on highly hypnotizable individuals. Thus, the question of the neural locus of the effects and their generalizability remains open. In the p...
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The present study aims at identifying reliable markers of neural preparatory processes during hypnosis. To this goal, we recorded the electroencephalographic activity of 23 volunteers regardless of their hypnotizability score. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were elicited while participants received non‐painful electrical stimuli on the left...
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The aim of this essay is to describe several ostensibly odd experiences considered implausible, illusory or hallucinatory phenomena, largely considered to be disorders of the neurological or psychological functioning from the ruling mechanist-reductionist perspective of neurosciences. A rigorous but open-minded neurophenomenological approach is req...
Preprint
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Aim of this theoretical paper is to review the ontological status of so-called altered states of consciousness, suggesting a revision of their common interpretation as abnormal, or anyway less-than-normal conditions. The term Non-Ordinary Mental Expressions (NOMEs), is described and emphasized as a new conceptual tool allowing a more comprehensive...
Article
Hypnotic-focused analgesia (HFA) was produced in 20 highly hypnotizable subjects receiving nociceptive stimulations while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The fMRI pattern in brain cortex activation while receiving a painful stimulus was recorded both during nonhypnosis and during HFA. The scanning protocol included the acqu...
Article
This study aimed to determine the effects of neutral hypnosis and hypnotic temperature suggestions in thermal and pain thresholds compared to resting state. Sixteen healthy medium or high hypnotizable volunteers were enrolled. Hypnotizability was assessed with the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP); QST was checked in resting state, in neutral hypnos...
Article
The topic of multiple personality, redefined as Dissociative Identity Disorders (DIDs) in the DSM-5, is an intriguing and still debated disorder with a long history and deep cultural and epistemological implications, extending up to the idea of possession. Hypnosis is an appealing and valuable model to manipulate subjective experience and get an in...
Article
The Self is an interdisciplinary topic encompassing neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology. Despite the wealth of data available on the topic, its definition remains elusive, while its meaning overlaps with terms such as consciousness, Ego, and I, and so has created more confusion and redundancy rather than clarity. Its study is als...
Preprint
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This article stems from the need for restoring some relevant but skipped aspect of Lombroso’s figure, especially his huge interest in hypnosis, an essential step for a more objective historical reenactment of his thought. Lombroso’s wide range of interests, including psychiatry, anthropology and sociology, made him a great physician-philosopher emb...
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Inducing out-of-body experiences in hypnosis (H-OBEs) offers an almost unique opportunity to investigate them under controlled conditions. OBEs were induced as an imaginative task in a resting condition (I-OBE) or in hypnosis (H-OBE) in a group of 15 high hypnotizable subjects. A 32-channel EEG was recorded, and the spectral power and imaginary coh...
Article
In this article, we report some excerpts from the writings of Dr. A.M., an adult female, regarding the knowledge she acquired during the regular mystical experiences she has been having since April 2014. This case is exceptional for multiple reasons. First, she experienced this particular state of consciousness without any associated medical or neu...
Preprint
The Self is an interdisciplinary topic encompassing neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and anthropology. Despite the wealth of data available on the topic, its definition remains elusive, while its meaning overlaps with terms such as consciousness, Ego and I, and so has created more confusion and redundancy rather than clarity. Its study is also...
Preprint
Full-text available
Inducing out-of-body experiences in hypnosis (H-OBEs) offers an almost unique opportunity to investigate them in a controlled condition.OBEs were induced as imaginative task in resting conditions (I-OBE) or in hypnosis (H-OBE) in 15 high hypnotizable subjects. A 32-channel EEG was recorded and the spectral power and imaginary coherence were calcula...
Article
Full-text available
The studies on the relationship between religiosity and the management of trust in postmodern society is an emerging field of research. The psychological contribute of the attachment theory shows how early relationships with the parental figures determine the adult attachment styles and the related dispositions to trust and religiosity. Lack of tru...
Article
In this article, we report some excerpts from the writings of Dr. A.M., an adult female, regarding the knowledge she acquired during the regular mystical experiences she has been having since April 2014. This case is exceptional for multiple reasons. First, she experienced this particular state of consciousness without any associated medical or neu...
Article
Full-text available
In contemporary Western culture, death has been widely censured because of its conceptual implications; it lies at the boundaries between reductionism and metaphysics. There is not yet an efficacious epistemology able to solve this contraposition and its consequent collision with science and tradition. This article analyzes Near Death Experiences (...
Article
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Dental anxiety (DA) can be considered as a universal phenomenon with a high prevalence worldwide; DA and pain are also the main causes for medical emergencies in the dental office, so their prevention is an essential part of patient safety and overall quality of care. Being DA and its consequences closely related to the fight-or-flight reaction, it...
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The huge problems related to chronic, ultimately fatal diseases involve disability, pain, suffering and the perception of one's doom; this calls for reappraising the conventional concepts of health and disease, life and death, encompassing spirituality and the mystery of death beyond any limited perspective. The management of suffering and pain to...
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In this essay, we will support the claim that at the current level of scientific advancement a) some first-person accounts cannot be reduced to their third-person neural and psychophysiological correlates and b) that these first-person accounts are the only information to reckon when it is necessary to analyse qualia contents. Consequently, for man...
Article
In this essay, we will support the claim that at the current level of scientific advancement a) some first-person accounts cannot be reduced to their third-person neural and psychophysiological correlates and b) that these first-person accounts are the only information to reckon when it is necessary to analyse qualia contents. Consequently, for man...
Article
Full-text available
Hypnosis and meditation, as a whole, form a heterogeneous complex of psychosomatic techniques able to control mind and body regulation. Hypnosis has been pragmatically used for limited therapeutic targets, while Eastern meditation has much wider philosophical and existential implications, aiming for a radical liberation from all illusions, attachme...
Article
Full-text available
In this essay, we will support the claim that a) some first-person accounts cannot be reduced to their third-person neural and psychophysiological correlates and b) that these first-person accounts are the only information to reckon when it is necessary to analyse qualia contents. Consequently, for many phenomena, first-person accounts are the only...
Article
Consciousness has been one of the most important and tantalizing issues ever since the origin of philosophy and medicine. The concept of consciousness and the so-called "hard problem" (i.e., the mind-brain relationship) are highly complex topics that have yet to be elucidated, involving the realms of both science and philosophy with profound episte...
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This study examined the relationship between the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) and several psychological tests: Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS), Spontaneity Assessment Inventory-Revised (SAI-R), Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), Short-Form Boundary Questionnaire (SFBQ), Mini Locus of Control (MLOC), Testoni Death Representation Scale (TDRS),...
Article
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Hypnotic focused analgesia, comparable to chemical local anesthesia, has been widely documented in our Laboratory after hypnotic suggestions. This study is aimed at producing hypnotic local anesthesia suggesting that a hand does not belong to the body (body dysmorphism) without any direct suggestions of analgesia. Eight healthy, highly hypnotizable...
Article
Hypnosis is a physiological mind activity characterized by focused attention, absorption, dissociation and plastic imagination. In the early 19th century, several hundred surgical interventions were described with hypnosis as the sole anesthetic, in an epoch when no anesthetic drugs were available; then hypnosis was prejudicially abandoned and forg...
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This contribution to the science of consciousness aims at comparing how two different theories can explain the emergence of different qualia experiences: meta-awareness, meta-cognition, the placebo effect, out-of-body experiences, cognitive therapy, meditation-induced brain changes, etc. The first theory postulates that qualia experiences derive fr...
Article
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Although taken for granted today by people and by some experts, the unconscious has never been experimentally demonstrated. Even for the psychoanalysts, the unconscious is nothing more than a model. The unconscious, if anything, is normally obscured by conscious activities and can only express itself in response to conditions leading to non-ordinar...
Article
Aim: Anxiety is a relevant problem in dental practice. The Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) is a brief, simple questionnaire consisting of five questions with a total score ranging from 5 to 25, the Italian version of which is not available yet. The aim of the study was to provide an Italian version of the MDAS and check its reliability in ora...
Article
Full-text available
Anxiety is a relevant problem in dental practice. The Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) is a brief, simple questionnaire consisting of five questions with a total score ranging from 5 to 25, the Italian version of which is not available yet. The aim of the study was to provide an Italian version of the MDAS and check its reliability in oral surg...
Book
Full-text available
A collection of papers on Non-ordinary mental expressions, including research on hypnosis, meditation, psi phenomena, and psychedelic drugs.
Article
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare disease, little known to medical and dental practitioners, but with an increasing hospitalization rate over the years. HAE is due to a C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency/dysfunction that leads to an increased vascular permeability. The airways are the most affected, and life-threatening laryngeal swelling may occ...
Article
Dental fear is a universal phenomenon justifying the increasing relevance of psychology and the behavioural sciences to dental training and clinical practice. Pharmacological sedation has been used more and more over the past two decades, in order to relieve dental anxiety and phobia and let the patient face oral surgery safely. Hypnosis is a still...
Article
Abstract To evaluate the effect of hypnotically induced amusia for rhythm (a condition in which individuals are unable to recognize melodies or rhythms) on mismatch negativity (MMN), 5 highly (HH) and 5 poorly (LH) hypnotizable nonmusician volunteers underwent MMN recording before and during a hypnotic suggestion for amusia. MMN amplitude was recor...
Article
Aim: The aim of this paper was to determine whether the use of midazolam is a better technique than the use of diazepam, in relation with the definition of conscious sedation in dentistry. Methods: Eighty-eight patients undergoing oral surgery were divided into 2 groups in which the sedation was randomly achieved with equipotent cumulative doses...
Article
Background: Anxiety is a relevant but still underscored perioperative problem. The Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (VAS-A) seems to be effective, fast and manageable, but has not been fully validated yet. The aim of this study is to validate VAS-A comparing it to, Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale (CDAS) Spielberger's State Trait Anxiety Inventory (S...
Article
A female patient with multiple chemical sensitivity and previous anaphylactoid reactions to local anaesthetics was admitted for removal of a thigh skin tumour under hypnosis as sole anaesthesia. The hypnotic protocol included hypnotic focused analgesia and a pre-operative pain threshold test. After inducing hypnosis, a wide excision was performed,...
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Background: The pharmacologic treatment of migraine still remains below the expectations. The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of traditional acupuncture and valproic acid in migraine prophylaxis. Methods: A prospective, controlled study was performed in 100 patients affected by migraine without aura lasting for over one year. T...
Article
Dental fear is an universal phenomenon justifying the increasing relevance of psychology and the behavioral sciences to dental training and clinical practice. It has a wide-ranging and dynamic impact in patients' lives and shows some links with other anxiety disorders, as described in psychiatry, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and ph...
Article
The efficacy of hypnotic suggestion of high performance was evaluated in 10 young healthy volunteers undergoing isometric exercise (hand grip) in basal conditions of usual normal consciousness and in profound hypnosis. To this aim, they were asked to perform dynamometric hand grip at maximal muscular strength and for the longest time compatible wit...
Article
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Near-death experiences (NDEs) are profound psychic experiences commonly occurring in life-threatening conditions. They include feeling a sense of peace, of seeing a bright light, encountering deceased relatives or religious figures, and of transcending space and time. To explain them, it has been suggested that they stem from brain disorders and/or...
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Il lavoro si propone di esaminare la storia della sedazione in odontoiatria nel continente europeo, che si diversifica da quella del continente americano per via del riconoscimento all’odontoiatra statunitense di pratiche di sedazione diverse, fino all’anestesia generale.Materiali e metodiSi fornisce una nota storica e bibliografica sulla realtà de...
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Science exists to refute dogmas; nevertheless, dogmas may be introduced when undemonstrated scientific axioms lead us to reject facts incompatible with them. Several studies have proposed psychobiological interpretations of near-death experiences (NDEs), claiming that NDEs are a mere byproduct of brain functions gone awry; however, relevant facts i...
Article
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After rapid hypnotic induction, 12 healthy volunteers underwent hypnotic deepening with relaxation or with fractionation (without relaxation) in a random latin-square protocol. Electroencephalographic occipital alpha activity was measured, low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography was performed, and hemodynamics (stroke volume, heart rate, ca...
Article
The authors detail their multidisciplinary collaboration of cardiologists, physiologists, neurologists, psychologists, engineers, and statisticians in researching the effects of hypnosis on the cardiovascular system and their additions to that incomplete literature. The article details their results and provides guidelines for researchers intereste...
Article
Near-death experiences (NDEs) are an intriguing and somewhat awkward topic in the scientific medicine. They can be defined as the memory of impressions occurring during life-threatening conditions, including a number of special elements such as out-of-body experiences, pleasant feelings, seeing a tunnel, a light, deceased relatives, or a life revie...
Article
The rate, intensity, and selectivity of hypnotic focused analgesia (HFA) were tested with dental pulp stimulation. Thirty-one healthy subjects were hypnotized, and hypnotic suggestions were given for anesthesia of the right mandibular arch. A posthypnotic suggestion of persisting analgesia was also given. The pain threshold of the first premolar wa...
Article
Bispectral Index Score (BIS) is an objective tool to assess sedation depth. Benzodiazepines have different pharmacological profiles and diazepam may be safer than midazolam in this setting. The aim of this study was to compare BIS values observed during anxiolysis after diazepam versus sedation after midazolam. Thirty-six patients were randomly ass...
Article
Full-text available
Anxiety is a relevant problem in dental practice. The Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (VAS-A), introduced in dentistry in 1988, has not yet been validated in large series. The aim of this study is to check VAS-A effectiveness in more than 1000 patients submitted to implantology. The VAS-A and the Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) were administered preop...
Article
The aim was to compare the efficacy of Kenneth Reed and Gow-Gates inferior alveolar nerve blocks when performed by an inexperienced operator. A group of 60 patients was randomised into two groups. One group had the Kenneth Reed technique used to administer an inferior alveolar nerve block whilst the other received the Gow-Gates technique. The effic...
Article
The research regards information on anesthesia to patients undergoing oral surgery. Every patient evaluated the in