This is our UK/Europe website. If you are in North America, please click here to visit our other site.

Shopping Basket

Your basket is empty

Currency Settings

Treatments valued at a higher price are associated with enhanced placebo analgesia, and this effect is correlated with activity in brain areas associated with expectation and reward processing. Korean investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study 19 healthy subjects enrolled in a two-day experiment. On day 1, participants had treatment experiences with two different placebo creams during a conditioning session without receiving any information on treatment price. On day 2, placebo analgesia was tested after providing price information (high versus low) while fMRI was performed. The results showed that the higher-priced placebo treatment led to enhanced pain relief. Placebo analgesia in response to the higher priced treatment was associated with activity in areas associated with the expectation and reward-related circuitry of the brain (ventral striatum, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area).

The context of values in pain control: understanding the price effect in placebo analgesia. J Pain. 2019 Nov 13. pii: S1526-5900(19)30854-5.