Afik Faerman, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychology postdoctoral scholar and an NIMH T32 fellow at the Stanford Brain Stimulation Lab (PI: Nolan Williams) and the Center for Mind, Body, and Health (PI: David Spiegel). He completed his clinical training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Baylor College of Medicine and earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology with emphasis in neuropsychology from Palo Alto University. His research centers on the modulation of consciousness and its clinical relevance, focusing on psychedelics, brain stimulation, hypnosis, sleep, and performance. His work has been acknowledged and supported by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH), the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), the Sleep Research Society (SRS), and more. He is the president-elect of the APA Division 30 (Psychological Hypnosis) and is the past chair of the Student Committee at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC).
Honors & Awards
Early Career Award, American Psychological Association, Division 30 (2023)
The Mutter Scholarship, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (2023)
The Henry Guze Award (Best Research Paper), Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (2022)
Paul Baer Research Award, Baylor College of Medicine (2022)
The Murray Tondow Outstanding Dissertation Award, Palo Alto University (2022)
Presidential Citation, Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (2022)
Dissertation Award, Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (APA Division 40) (2019)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
President-Elect, American Psychological Association (APA), Division 30 (2023 - Present)
Member, Trainee Education Advisory Committee (TEAC), Sleep Research Society (SRS) (2020 - 2023)
Chair, Student Committee, Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC) (2019 - 2022)
Neuropsychological considerations for long-duration deep spaceflight.
Frontiers in physiology
2023; 14: 1146096
The deep space environment far beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) introduces multiple and simultaneous risks for the functioning and health of the central nervous system (CNS), which may impair astronauts' performance and wellbeing. As future deep space missions to Mars, moons, or asteroids will also exceed current LEO stay durations and are estimated to require up to 3 years, we review recent evidence with contemporary and historic spaceflight case studies addressing implications for long-duration missions. To highlight the need for specific further investigations, we provide neuropsychological considerations integrating cognitive and motor functions, neuroimaging, neurological biomarkers, behavior changes, and mood and affect to construct a multifactorial profile to explain performance variability, subjective experience, and potential risks. We discuss the importance of adopting a neuropsychological approach to long-duration deep spaceflight (LDDS) missions and draw specific recommendations for future research in space neuropsychology.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fphys.2023.1146096
View details for PubMedID 37275233
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10235498
- IBOGAINETREATMENT INCOMBAT VETERANS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVESSLEEP,BEYOND ALLEVIATING POSTTRAUMATICSTRESS DISORDERSYMPTOMS OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2023
Shared cognitive mechanisms of hypnotizability with executive functioning and information salience.
2021; 11 (1): 5704
In recent years, evidence linked hypnotizability to the executive control and information salience networks, brain structures that play a role in cognitive conflict resolution and perseveration (insisting on applying a previously learned logical rule on a new set). Despite the growing body of neuroimaging evidence, the cognitive phenotype of hypnotizability is not well understood. We hypothesized that higher hypnotizability would correspond to lower perseveration and set-shifting. Seventy-two healthy adults were tested for hypnotizability and executive functions (perseveration and set-shifting). Multiple regression analyses were performed to test the relationship between hypnotizability and perseveration and set-shifting. Higher hypnotizability was associated with lower perseveration after accounting for age and education. Hypnotizability significantly predicted perseveration but not set-shifting. Our results indicate an inverse relationship between trait hypnotizability and perseveration, an executive function that utilizes regions of both the executive control and the salience systems. This suggests that hypnotizability may share a common cognitive mechanism with error evaluation and implementation of logical rules.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-84954-8
View details for PubMedID 33707531
Subjective sleep quality is poorly associated with actigraphy and heart rate measures in community-dwelling older men.
2020; 73: 154–61
There has been a proliferation in the use of commercially-available accelerometry- and heart rate-based wearable devices to monitor sleep. While the underlying technology is reasonable at detecting sleep quantity, the ability of these devices to predict subjective sleep quality is currently unknown. We tested whether the fundamental signals from such devices are useful in determining subjective sleep quality.Older, community-dwelling men (76.5 ± 5.77 years) enrolled in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) participated in an overnight sleep study during which sleep was monitored with actigraphy (wrist-worn accelerometry) and polysomnography (PSG), including electrocardiography (N = 1141). Subjective sleep quality was determined the next morning using 5-point Likert-type scales of sleep depth and restfulness. Lasso and random forest regression models analyzed the relationship between actigraph-determined sleep variables, the shape of the activity patterns during sleep (functional principal component analysis), average heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), demographics, and self-reported depression, anxiety, habitual sleep, and daytime sleepiness measures.Actigraphy data, in combination with heart rate, HRV, demographic, and psychological variables, do not predict well subjective sleep quality (R2 = 0.025 to 0.162).Findings are consistent with previous studies that objective sleep measures are not well correlated with subjective sleep quality. Developing validated biomarkers of subjective sleep quality could improve both existing and novel treatment modalities and advance sleep medicine towards precision healthcare standards.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.sleep.2020.04.012
View details for PubMedID 32836083
Altered Neurochemical Ratio in the Prefrontal Cortex is Associated With Pain in Fibromyalgia Syndrome
SPRINGERNATURE. 2021: 163
View details for Web of Science ID 000725511400314
Hypnotic predictors of agency: Responsiveness to specific suggestions in hypnosis is associated with involuntariness in fibromyalgia.
Consciousness and cognition
2021; 96: 103221
Hypnosis is associated with alterations in the sense of agency which can play a role in its utilization as a nonpharmacological option for pain management. The goal of the current study was to examine the relationships between responsiveness to suggestions in hypnosis and alterations of the sense of agency among patients with fibromyalgia. Ninety-eight participants with fibromyalgia underwent two hypnotizability assessments followed by the Sense of Agency Rating Scale. Clinical pain measures were also collected. Involuntariness was predicted by responsiveness to control, ideomotor, and dissociation suggestions. Effortlessness was predicted by responsiveness to control and ideomotor suggestions, and age. Hypnotizability was associated with main clinical pain outcomes, but agency alterations were not. Results suggest a shared mechanism between responsiveness to specific suggestions and the sense of agency in hypnosis. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications for pain management and the need for further research.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2021.103221
View details for PubMedID 34695719
FEASIBILITY OF HYPNOSIS AS ADJUNCTIVE TREATMENT FOR SUBJECTIVE SLEEP DISTURBANCE: A PILOT STUDY AND PROOF OF CONCEPT
OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2021: A140-A141
View details for Web of Science ID 000698984300351
Posthypnotic Amnesia in Hypnotizability Assessment: Validation of a New Scoring System for the Hypnotic Induction Profile.
The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis
2021; 69 (1): 83–93
The Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) is a standardized assessment of hypnotizability featuring a validated 0-10 scoring system, that does not factor in posthypnotic amnesia. Using confirmatory factor analyses (CFA), we compared the 10-point scoring system with a new 12-point system that includes the posthypnotic amnesia item in independent samples of individuals with fibromyalgia (n =98) and healthy adults (n =97). Additionally, we explored associations of the two scoring systems with measures of hypnotic phenomena. CFA results indicate that the 12-point scoring system is a good fit for the 1-factor model of hypnotizability. Posthypnotic amnesia loaded highly on the model in the fibromyalgia sample, and moderately on the model in healthy adults. Furthermore, the 12-point scoring system correlated significantly with measures of hypnotic phenomena. We conclude that the 12-point scoring system is psychometrically equivalent yet conceptually more comprehensive than the 10-point scoring system.
View details for DOI 10.1080/00207144.2021.1834860
View details for PubMedID 33513058
Sleep/Wake Detection by Behavioral Response to Haptic Stimuli.
Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
2019; 15 (11): 1675–81
STUDY OBJECTIVES: Actigraphy, the tool of choice for assessment of sleep phase disorders, is insensitive to movement-free waking. This study aimed to determine whether the detection of waking could be performed by recording instrumental responses to haptic stimuli delivered by a low-cost device.METHODS: Twenty adults underwent 2 nights of laboratory polysomnography (PSG) while wearing a fingerless glove under which a stimulating actigraph ("Wakemeter") was apposed to the palm. The Wakemeter, controlled by a tablet computer, delivered gentle, haptic stimuli every 10 minutes during the sleep period. If a stimulus was detected, the participant squeezed the Wakemeter. Stimulus times, response times and movements were streamed to the tablet. Concurrent PSG data were scored blind to stimuli and responses. Self-reported sleep quality ratings were collected each morning.RESULTS: The Wakemeter was acceptable to 19 of 20 participants, and effects on self-reported and objective sleep were small. The probability of a response to the stimulus during a wake epoch was high regardless of movement. In contrast, actigraphy magnitude distributions were indistinguishable across epochs scored wake without movement versus sleep, confirming a known limitation of actigraphy. A simple method for calculating sleep efficiency from responses to the stimuli yielded estimates that were highly correlated with PSG-derived estimates (rho = .69, P < .001).CONCLUSIONS: Behavioral responses to haptic stimuli detected epochs of movement-free wake during the sleep period and may augment actigraphy in the low-burden estimation of sleep efficiency. Acceptability of the method over longer recording periods remains to be established.
View details for DOI 10.5664/jcsm.8038
View details for PubMedID 31739859
Establishing a framework for neuropathological correlates and glymphatic system functioning in Parkinson's disease.
Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews
Recent evidence has advanced our understanding of the function of sleep to include removal of neurotoxic protein aggregates via the glymphatic system. However, most research on the glymphatic system utilizes animal models, and the function of waste clearance processes in humans remains unclear. Understanding glymphatic function offers new insight into the development of neurodegenerative diseases that result from toxic protein inclusions, particularly those characterized by neuropathological sleep dysfunction, like Parkinson's disease (PD). In PD, we propose that glymphatic flow may be compromised due to the combined neurotoxic effects of alpha-synuclein protein aggregates and deteriorated dopaminergic neurons that are linked to altered REM sleep, circadian rhythms, and clock gene dysfunction. This review highlights the importance of understanding the functional role of glymphatic system disturbance in neurodegenerative disorders and the subsequent clinical and neuropathological effects on disease progression. Future research initiatives utilizing noninvasive brain imaging methods in human subjects with PD are warranted, as in vivo identification of functional biomarkers in glymphatic system functioning may improve clinical diagnosis and treatment of PD.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.05.016
View details for PubMedID 31132378
SUBJECTIVE SLEEP QUALITY IN POSTPARTUM WOMEN ENROLLED IN A STUDY OF CBT FOR INSOMNIA
OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2019
View details for Web of Science ID 000471071001136