We explored the ongoing question of whether placebo analgesia alters afferent nociceptive processing in a novel paradigm designed to minimize the role of response bias in placebo measurement. First, healthy adult participants received a standard heat placebo induction and conditioning procedure using a topical "analgesic" cream applied to one arm. During a subsequent placebo testing procedure, participants rated stimuli on the placebo-treated arm and untreated arm, using a task that minimized subjects' ability to guess the expected response, thus reducing experimenter demand. Retrospectively participants reported moderate analgesia effectiveness (mean=5.3/10), but for individual temperature ratings, only 2 subjects exhibited a perceptual placebo response >5 points. Next, these subjects completed a novel, exploratory task designed to measure changes in inter-arm in discriminative accuracy that would be expected from changes in afferent nociception. Both placebo responders (but no non-responders) showed reduced discriminative ability when the hotter stimulus occurred on the placebo arm, an effect consistent with alterations in nociceptive afferent flow and unlikely to be caused by response bias.