The Huffington Post:
Scientists and doctors have been studying placebos for more than half a century. These inert “sugar pills” remain highly controversial, yet they are widely used in clinical treatment today — especially in the area of pain management. So-called “placebo analgesia” has been observed again and again not only in the pain clinic, but also in the neuroscience lab, where scientists have documented a placebo response in the brain’s pain pathways.
Despite this evidence, nobody really understands the psychological processes involved in placebo analgesia.
Presumably the power of these inert substances has something to do with the expectation of relief, but how do expectations translate into basic cognitive processes, like attention and thought?
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