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placebo gene?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Saturday science subject: The placebo gene - The Tech Report

just posting it

my person view is: this explains why some people have "better" ears, they're more succeptable to placebo effect, although thats my take on VERY VERY early stage research
post #2 of 32
I was going to post this: First 'placebo gene' discovered - health - 03 December 2008 - New Scientist

but was too chicken :/.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
heh, well now we've got two
post #4 of 32
I wonder if Patrick can sue these scientist guys for defamation?
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
I wonder if Patrick can sue these scientist guys for defamation?
He's going to wrap this scientist guys asses with ERS paper.
post #6 of 32
That explains it!
post #7 of 32
The New Scientist is not peer-reviewed or particularly discriminating.

I don't see why a result on one reporter molecule should be generalized to say "the placebo effect might be genetic." Of course, it might be. But it might not be. The New Scientist doesn't give convincing evidence one way or the other. They even say, "However, he cautions that only further studies will reveal whether the gene influences the placebo effect more generally."

What they claim was a "placebo speech" may have not been a placebo at all. What exactly is this gene they're claiming? How do they distinguish between a genetic basis for a behavior and an environmental basis for the behavior? No twins separated at birth here...

Sorry, I should know better than to venture into the Sound Science topics, but it bugs me when people assume that everything biological has a genetic or molecular explanation.
post #8 of 32
The article says they used double blind studies.

We all know those are completely inaccurate, don't we? They should have just done a study based on testimonials from the scientists. That's the only way you can actually "know" something.
post #9 of 32
dont be too quick to slam this study, due to these links coming from a popular science magazine - the info comes from properly published research in The Journal of Neuroscience, which IS peer-reviewed

it's quite easy to use common sense logic to accept or refute many claims cognitive psychology. the most important thing that I learned before leaving my neuroscience major to pursue accounting, was that we really know nothing about the brain

http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content...ct/28/49/13066
post #10 of 32
<sigh>
Anybody ever seen the movie "Thank you for smoking?" There is a line in there that goes something like "to win an argument, you don't have to be right, you just have to make sure the other guy appears to be wrong." Fortunately, science is consistent where humans are not!

I don't have any problem with double-blind test methodology. I raised an issue with their use of a supposed placebo, which was never shown to actually be a placebo. I think they may have tested (in double-blind fashion) condition #1 versus condition #2. That's great, but it doesn't establish that either condition is a true placebo condition.

I also didn't rip on the New Scientist as a magazine. They're a news outlet, not a scientific journal, gotta call it like it is! The Journal of Neuroscience (whose abstract I did read before; it is boring as hell) is a respectable scientific journal, not a news outlet. Different audience, different communication goals. I guess Head-fi is another...

My cautions that the article sources were neither peer-reviewed nor discriminating are completely accurate in light of the fact that the actual Journal of Neuroscience makes no firm assertion (or even vague general suggestion) that the effect they observed with amygdala excitability is in any way related to general placebo effect. The New Scientist and Tech Report shouted about the placebo effect, by quoting out of context, even when the authors clearly spoke to the contrary (as I noted above).
post #11 of 32
yeah, popular science magazines tend to exercise a little privilege when it comes to sensational claims
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post
the most important thing that I learned before leaving my neuroscience major to pursue accounting, was that we really know nothing about the brain
Holy crap, you left neuroscience for accounting? What possessed you to do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
I don't have any problem with double-blind test methodology. I raised an issue with their use of a supposed placebo, which was never shown to actually be a placebo. I think they may have tested (in double-blind fashion) condition #1 versus condition #2. That's great, but it doesn't establish that either condition is a true placebo condition.
What do you mean by "shown to be a placebo" ? It would be somewhat difficult to show that something is "really" a placebo, since the mechanism of action of placebo generally isn't well understood.
post #13 of 32
The scientific community at large has become largely bureaucratic and because of such, has become biased. I'm not saying that to give some sort of underdog 'it has to be right' to this research, I just don't find that just because something is, or is not posted in a credited science magazine it's the ultimate authority. Not trying to start a fight, this is simply as I see it.

As for my own thoughts on the placebo effect and how it may relate to some audiophiles simply seeing things, I believe there is a little bit of truth in that, however, hearing and the science of sound have in fact been proven for some time now, and these audiophiles could quite possibly hear the difference between good and bad quality. just take a 8kpbs song vs a 128, can you tell the difference? or is that just a placebo, and really there is no difference? the real question is when does the truth stop, and the placebo begin?
post #14 of 32
But the article was a definite good read.
post #15 of 32
Nice posts guys......

Good finds!

The interesting thing about placebo effect is that no one denies that it exists any longer.

But unfortunately, it seems like it's going to be a long time before the snake oilers run out subjects.

I don't know why that should be?

The subjects have access to the same tests we do. They have access to the same freely available scientific information that we do. Even statements from people at the top of their field, like KG have no impact on them. The 'placebo afflicted' invariably cling steadfastly to their unverifiable beliefs like the members of a cult.

When the man who designs many of the amps we're listening to says something, you would think it should carry some weight. But noooo...... what does he know argues an oiler with something to sell?

On the other hand, when a snake oiler shills about some unverifiable, unreproducible expensive piece of something they want to sell you, wow, look out.......... the devoutly infected are on it with wallets in hand.....

And there's absolutely nothing we can say that will shake their beliefs, because, once you are afflicted with a particular strain of the 'Snake Oil Disease', you resist any and all treatment regarding that strain.....

In fact, the whole point of the Sound Science forum is to confine the truth to one tiny controllable area. Any time, one of our little truths pops up in one of the other forums, bamm, it's corralled and dumped back here, (like the magazine thread). Wouldn't want the noobs, with their full wallets, finding out about this stuff.

Hey, does anyone agree with any of this?

USG
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