Subliminal information can trigger the placebo effect and its opposite, the nocebo effect, researchers say.
finding suggests that patients with certain ailments may feel better or
worse depending on subtle cues their brains pick up from the
environment, but which they are not consciously aware of.
Karin Jensen, who led the study at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said the work had implications for how doctors interact with
their patients and how healthcare is delivered.
effect is the curious biological mechanism whereby patients' symptoms
improve when they take fake medicines with no active ingredient, such as
sugar pills or saline injections. It also boosts the effectiveness of
Though placebo is the better known
effect, there is an opposite reaction, called the nocebo response, where
people can feel worse after an intervention that should have no ill
effects. While both are usually linked to a tangible
intervention the patient is aware of, Jensen's team wondered whether
subconscious cues might be enough to trigger the same effects.
Source - Guardian