||Thereís a whole series of such
techniques involving detailed brain imaging. Another set of such studies Iím going to
come back to in a few minutes, but Iím going to detour briefly to talk about another
area where the mind and body interrogate each other for surprising outcomes, and this has
to do with the placebo effect.
Now, historically, the placebo is an inactive or innocent
contrivance that people use to encourage healing in the absence of something better to do.
In research, we began to use a placebo to control for the nonspecific effects that might
confound the calculation of the true benefits of a novel intervention. If you believe
itís going to work, that may contribute somewhat to its effectiveness, just like if you
believe youíre seeing color, that might contribute somewhat to what youíre seeing.