News of the WeekNeuroscience

Drugs and Placebos Look Alike in the Brain

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Science  08 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5557, pp. 947
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5557.947a

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Researchers have now shown that a placebo activates the same brain circuits as painkilling drugs. This first brain imaging study of placebo analgesia, reported online this week by Science (, graphically illustrates the principle that higher brain functions help control how humans perceive pain, the researchers say.