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post #46 of 52
FWIW I contacted a particle physicist and posited that there has been "great debate" amongst the audiophool world and asked could he elaborate on what different cables might do to "change" the sound. He declined to enter the arena.
post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
No, it's a good point, and there definitely is such a thing as a placebo effect. In practical terms, if you are healed from something from a placebo effect, what's the difference? you are still healed from it.

However -- and I could be wrong about this -- but I think the case is that a true placebo effect generally doesn't last long-term, which is often what can distinguish it from an "actual" or biochemical effect of some agent, etc.
I was told by a scientist that attempts to verify the placebo effect through objective measurements (like blood tests) have failed. In other words, it doesn't seem to improve your health, only your experience of your health. I don't have a reference for this study although I suppose we could search the web for it.
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post
I was told by a scientist that attempts to verify the placebo effect through objective measurements (like blood tests) have failed. In other words, it doesn't seem to improve your health, only your experience of your health. I don't have a reference for this study although I suppose we could search the web for it.
That's incorrect FMRI test have shown placebo reactions working in the brain with pain.

Brain Scans Show How Placebo Eases Pain

EDIT this video is pretty interesting.

+ YouTube Video
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post
That's incorrect FMRI test have shown placebo reactions working in the brain with pain.
Ok, fMRI just shows the brain reacting to something, and the results of this technique should be taken with a grain of salt (think modern-day phrenology).

Anyway, to put this micro-debate to rest, there are not necessarily good biomarkers at our fingertips for psychological phenomena. This doesn't mean that the phenomena aren't biologically based, it's just that we haven't found a marker that tracks perfectly with the given phenomenon (in this case, placebo effect).

Here's a link to a podcast of the show Radiolab, this particular episode about the placebo effect:Radiolab
post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post
That's incorrect FMRI test have shown placebo reactions working in the brain with pain.
Along the line of Lead Ear's comment, the pain centers of the brain are part of your experience of something. I believe that lots of studies have shown that mental imagery changes your pain centers. Meditation changes your brain. I believe my friend was talking about physical illnesses with biomarkers, like infections.
post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lead Ears View Post
Ok, fMRI just shows the brain reacting to something, and the results of this technique should be taken with a grain of salt (think modern-day phrenology).

Anyway, to put this micro-debate to rest, there are not necessarily good biomarkers at our fingertips for psychological phenomena. This doesn't mean that the phenomena aren't biologically based, it's just that we haven't found a marker that tracks perfectly with the given phenomenon (in this case, placebo effect).

Here's a link to a podcast of the show Radiolab, this particular episode about the placebo effect:Radiolab
I'll agree brain state (or more blood flow) does not necessarily correlate to a particular psychological phenomena or experience.
Thanks for the link I will check it out.
post #52 of 52
Just one more thought on this for the moment...

The very fact that the term "placebo effect" even exists is testament to the fact that an actual placebo effect exists. In fact, placebo effect may or may not be substantial under a given set of circumstances, however no scientific study that ever hopes to see the light of day would omit a placebo control (often known as "vehicle" control in the field).

In fact, the procedure for giving the drug or the placebo is always done under double-blind conditions (now, where have we heard that before?), as being blind to the experimental condition during data acquisition is absolutely essential to the integrity of the experiment. The experimenter and participant are allowed to "break blind" after data collection; this is known as the de-briefing.
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