Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Placebo analgesia is a prime example of the impact that psychological factors have on pain perception. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging of the human spinal cord to test the hypothesis that placebo analgesia results in a reduction of nociceptive processing in the spinal cord. In line with behavioral data that show decreased pain responses under placebo, pain-related activity in the spinal cord is strongly reduced under placebo. These results provide direct evidence for spinal inhibition as one mechanism of placebo analgesia and highlight that psychological factors can act on the earliest stages of pain processing in the central nervous system.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1180142

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

16/10/2009

Volume

326

Keywords

Adult, Analgesia, Analgesics, Humans, Lidocaine, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Pain, Pain Measurement, Pain Threshold, Placebo Effect, Placebos, Posterior Horn Cells, Spinal Cord, Young Adult