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Radiolab: Placebo


Could the best medicine be no medicine at all? We take stock of the pharmacy in our brains, consider the symbolic power of the doctor coat, and visit the tent of a self-proclaimed faith healer.

GUESTS:

 Dr. Naji AbumradFabrizio Benedettipreacher Steve BuzaDr. Daniel CarrEd CohenAnn HarringtonDr. Albert MasonDaniel Moerman and Tor Wager
pills

Pinpointing the Placebo Effect

All over the world, people say they are healed by things that turn out to be placebo. So it's easy to think that they must have been faking in the first place if all it took was a little sugar pill to assuage their ailments. But keep your scoffing at ...


white lab coat

The White Coat

Next up: a look at the placebo effect from the doctor's perspective. How the medical context alone can be the key into the brain's healing resources. We'll hear the story of Dr. Albert Mason, who found he had super-powers, used them for good, and then lost them forever. Then, we'll ...


hypnotizing cartoon

Faith Healers

The very first placebo-controlled trial may have been the debunking of the charismatic Anton Mesmer (the enigmatic source responsible for the verb “to mesmerize”), an enlightenment figure with a healing technique that Ben Franklin, for one, thought was basically placebo performance. Historians Ed Cohen ...

 

 Radiolab website

 

 
Friday, June 21, 2013
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