Published: April 25, 2017

koban and wagerCU Psychology and Neuroscience/ICS postdoc Leonie Koban and Professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) were in multiple news reports as a result of a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience regarding the placebo effect and the pain of an unwanted emotional breakup. Participants, all of whom had undergone an unwanted breakup within 6 months prior, reported less emotional and physical pain relative to a control condition after being given a placebo, having been told it was a powerful painkiller that reduced physical and emotional pain. Moreover, fMRI scanning showed similar patterns of pain reduction in the brain in areas associated with opioid production and feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine. For more information about the study, read the article, or the CU press release, or the Denver Post article, or the Denver 7 News article (which includes a video), or read the original study.