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Pain and Placebo


Term 2022-2026

Chair: Luana Colloca (USA)
Secretary: Andrea Evers (The Netherlands)
Treasurer: Damien Finniss (Australia)

The Pain and Placebo Special Interest Group is committed to interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations with academic and other entities to promote a scientific understanding of the neuropsychobiological bases of the endogenous systems for pain modulation in humans and humans and their implications for patients and stakeholders.

The Pain and Placebo Special Interest Group aims to:

  • Create awareness for placebo and nocebo effects in its various aspects and manifestations in the area of pain.
  • Increase research and education of placebo effects in the area of pain
  • Stimulate international collaborations among scientists and healthcare professionals for pain and placebo effects
  • Foster the development of clinical applications to optimize pain treatments with knowledge about placebo and nocebo effects.

Free Pain and Placebo Webinars

  • Pain: Neural Pathways, Biomarkers, and Interventions – 30 March 2023
    IASP defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage” to better articulate the biopsychosocial dimensions of this phenomenon. While our understanding of pain has greatly evolved over the past decades, there are still fundamental questions that need to be addressed. This webinar explored these questions related to pain such as assessing how similar pain, desire, and emotion are in their biological mechanisms and if a change in thinking can alter sensory perception and/or disease-relevant physiology.
  • (Un)Learning Pain: Learning Mechanisms of Placebo Effects in Pain – 23 May 2023
    This webinar explored the psychology factors that modulate pain perception and pain memory, the psychology of placebo and the learning mechanisms of placebo effects, and the psychology of education – with a special interest in increasing the effectiveness of teaching, upbringing, and memory training.
  • The Experience of Pain and Emotion: Meeting of Body, Brain, and Mind – 15 June
    This webinar explored the conceptual, mechanistic, and clinical relationships between pain and emotion – highlighting the value of bridging the pain and emotion communities – and offered opportunities for new research. To better understand these phenomena, they were discussed through the lens of cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, and health informatics, while integrating perspectives from emotion science, social psychology, and pain medicine.


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