Journal article

Placebo Effects in the Neuroendocrine System: Conditioning of the Oxytocin Responses.

Aleksandrina Skvortsova, Dieuwke S Veldhuijzen, Gustavo Pacheco-Lopez, Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus van IJzendoorn, Monique AM Smeets, Tom F Wilderjans, Albert Dahan, Omer van den Bergh, Niels H Chavannes, Nic JA van der Wee, Karen M Grewen, Henriët van Middendorp, Andrea WM Evers

Psychosomatic Medicine | Published : 2020

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: There is evidence that placebo effects may influence hormone secretion. However, few studies have examined placebo effects in the endocrine system, including oxytocin placebo effects. We studied whether it is possible to trigger oxytocin placebo effects using a classical conditioning paradigm. METHODS: Ninety-nine women were assigned to a conditioned, control, or drug control group. In the two-phase conditioning paradigm, participants in the conditioned and drug control groups received an oxytocin nasal spray combined with a distinctive smell (conditioned stimulus [CS]) for three acquisition days, whereas the control group received placebo spray. Subsequently, the conditioned and ..

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