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Neuron. 2014 Nov 5;84(3):623-37. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.023. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

Placebo effects: from the neurobiological paradigm to translational implications.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin Medical School and National Institute of Neuroscience, 10125 Turin, Italy. Electronic address:


Today we are witnessing a new science of placebo, a complex discipline that encompasses several experimental approaches and translational implications. Modern neurobiological tools have been used to answer important questions in placebo research, such as the top-down modulation of sensory and motor systems as well as the influence of cognition, emotions, and learning on symptoms, diseases, and responses to treatments. What we have learned is that there is not one single placebo effect, but many. This review highlights the translational implications of this new knowledge, ranging from clinical trial design to medical practice to social and ethical issues.

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