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Papers of the Week

2015 May

J Psychosom Res



Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation: a new model of placebo-induced nausea.


Quinn VF, MacDougall HG, Colagiuri B
J Psychosom Res. 2015 May; 78(5):484-8.
PMID: 25687878.


Traditional rotation-based models of placebo nausea are limited because they do not have vehicle settings and are tied to their context. The present study introduces a new model for examining placebo-induced nausea in the laboratory that overcomes these limitations, namely, Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS). GVS stimulates the vestibular system to cause nausea through sensory mismatch with visual cues and importantly has a non-nauseating placebo setting. Using this, we tested whether conditioning could elicit placebo nausea when participants were later exposed to placebo stimulation as well as whether this placebo nausea was generalised across contexts–something that is extremely difficult to test with rotation-based models of placebo nausea.