Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper: PS-1B.7
Session: Poster Session 1B
Location: H Fläche 1.OG
Session Time: Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation Time:Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation: Poster
Publication: 2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, 13-16 September 2019, Berlin, Germany
Paper Title: Generalization of placebo pain relief
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Authors: Lea Kampermann, Christian Büchel, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
Abstract: Placebo pain relief refers to perceived pain relief due to cognitive modulation induced by mechanisms such as expectation and experience. Here, we study the transfer of previous treatment experiences to novel situations, investigating how similarity between original and novel situation can explain carry-over effects. Using a placebo pain paradigm in healthy human volunteers during functional MRI, we treated heat pain on capsaicin pretreated skin by cooling. We conditioned participants to expect better treatment from one face cue, CS+, by associating it with more cooling, i.e. pain relief, than treatment from another face cue (CS-). We tested participants on a total of eight perceptually highly similar faces from a circular similarity continuum from CS+ to CS-. Pain relief ratings in the test phase showed a significant placebo effect as well as decaying placebo effects with increasing dissimilarity to the CS+, i.e. generalization of placebo relief. Modelling these profiles by a Gaussian curve explained data better than a flat null-model. On the neuronal level, we observed Gaussian generalization gradients in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex and the right hippocampus. Our results indicate that experienced treatment success generalizes to novel situations as a function of its perceptual similarity to previous experience.