Studying placebo effects in model organisms will help us understand them in humans

Journal article


Harvey, S. and Beedie, C. 2017. Studying placebo effects in model organisms will help us understand them in humans. Biology Letters. 13 (11).
AuthorsHarvey, S. and Beedie, C.
Abstract

The placebo effect is widely recognized, but important questions remain, for example whether the capacity to respond to a placebo is an evolved, and potentially ubiquitous trait, or an unpredictable side-effect of another evolved process. Understanding this will determine the degree to which the physiology underlying placebo effects might be manipulated or harnessed to optimize medical treatments. We argue that placebo effects are cases of phenotypic plasticity where once predictable cues are now unpredictable. Importantly, this explains why placebo-like effects are observed in less complex organisms such as worms and flies. Further, this indicates that such species present significant opportunities to test hypotheses that would be ethically or pragmatically impossible in humans. This paradigm also suggests that data informative of human placebo effects pre-exists in studies of model organisms.

KeywordsCaenorhabditis; Drosophila; nocebo effect; phenotypic plasticity, placebo
Year2017
JournalBiology Letters
Journal citation13 (11)
PublisherThe Royal Society
ISSN1744-9561
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1098/rsbl.2017.0585
Publication dates
Print29 Nov 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Nov 2017
Accepted02 Nov 2017
Accepted author manuscript
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Beedie, C. and Hopker, J. 2005. Potential for the use of the placebo effect in sport rehabilitation. SportEX Medicine.
Mood matters: a response to Mellalieu
Lane, A., Beedie, C. and Stevens, M. 2005. Mood matters: a response to Mellalieu. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 17 (4), pp. 319-325.
Beliefs versus reality, or beliefs as reality? The placebo effect in sport and exercise
Beedie, C. and Foad, A. 2008. Beliefs versus reality, or beliefs as reality? The placebo effect in sport and exercise. in: Lane, A. (ed.) Sport and Exercise Psychology London Hodder Education. pp. 211-225
Sex-specific differences in the synaptonemal complex in the genus Oreochromis (Cichlidae)
Campos-Ramos, R., Harvey, S. and Penman, D. 2009. Sex-specific differences in the synaptonemal complex in the genus Oreochromis (Cichlidae). Genetica. 135 (3), pp. 325-332.
Natural variation in gene expression in the early development of dauer larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans
Harvey, S., Barker, G., Shorto, A. and Viney, M. 2009. Natural variation in gene expression in the early development of dauer larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans. BMC Genomics. 10 (1), p. 325.
Identification of placebo responsive participants in 40km laboratory cycling performance
Beedie, C., Foad, A. and Coleman, D. 2008. Identification of placebo responsive participants in 40km laboratory cycling performance. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 7 (1), pp. 166-175.
Pharmacological and psychological effects of caffeine ingestion in 40-km cycling performance
Foad, A., Beedie, C. and Coleman, D. 2008. Pharmacological and psychological effects of caffeine ingestion in 40-km cycling performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 40 (1), pp. 158-165.
Non-dauer larval dispersal in Caenorhabditis elegans
Harvey, S. 2009. Non-dauer larval dispersal in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 312B (3), pp. 224-230.
Towards empirical distinctions between emotion and mood: a subjective contextual model
Beedie, C. 2007. Towards empirical distinctions between emotion and mood: a subjective contextual model. in: Lane, A. (ed.) Mood and Human Performance: Conceptual, Measurement and Applied Issues New York Nova Science Publishers. pp. 63-87
Positive and negative placebo effects resulting from the deceptive administration of an ergogenic aid
Beedie, C., Coleman, D. and Foad, A. 2007. Positive and negative placebo effects resulting from the deceptive administration of an ergogenic aid. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 17 (3), pp. 259-269.
Placebo effects of caffeine on cycling performance
Beedie, C., Stuart, E., Coleman, D. and Foad, A. 2006. Placebo effects of caffeine on cycling performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 38 (12), pp. 2159-2164.
Distinctions between emotion and mood
Beedie, C., Terry, P. and Lane, A. 2005. Distinctions between emotion and mood. Cognition & Emotion. 19 (6), pp. 847-878.
Placebo effects in competitive sport: qualitative data
Beedie, C. 2007. Placebo effects in competitive sport: qualitative data. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 6 (1), pp. 21-28.
The placebo effect in sports performance: a brief review
Beedie, C. and Foad, A. 2009. The placebo effect in sports performance: a brief review. Sports Medicine. 39 (4), pp. 313-329.