The Brain Has a Mind of its Own

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The brain really has a mind of its own. This can be seen when talking about the placebo effect. The placebo effect is the improvement resulting from the mere expectation of improvement. In an experiment testing the effectiveness of a certain drug, one group may be given a placebo, or a blank pill. The group does not know that they have received a blank pill, and records positive improvements. This leads scientist to believe that the mere fact that people know they are taking a pill, they trick their body into thinking they are getting better. The placebo effect can help us determine how effective things are, such as medicine.
Here is an example of the workings of a placebo affect:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFCdhr6l3ls

Though this example is a bit different than a blank pill, it still shows the same effect. College students wanted to prank new freshman by serving non alcoholic beer. The freshman didn't know that they were being served non alcoholic beer and were fooled into thinking that they were drunk. Based on this video, they did in fact feel intoxicated and were even vomiting.
It is hard to tell if anything really will become of the placebo effect. Will it eventually be used as a cure? If people record to significantly feeling better after unknowingly taking a placebo pill, could it actually be used as a cure? Though it is used in experimental design, I think it deserves some of its own experimenting itself.

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This page contains a single entry by carne117 published on October 2, 2011 8:46 PM.

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