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Conscious and unconscious placebo responses

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Abstract

The study of the placebo response is basically the study of the psychosocial context around the therapy, which constitutes the ritual of the therapeutic act, and of its effects on the patient’s brain. Many mechanisms are involved, both conscious, like expectation of a future outcome, and unconscious, such as classical conditioning. Overall, recent research indicates that different social stimuli, first and foremost the therapist’s words, may induce cellular and molecular changes in the patient’s brain, thus placing psychotherapy into the neurobiological domain.

References

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