MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Placebo effect in the brain. Cutaway artwork of a human brain, showing the areas (red) that are activated during the response to the placebo effect. This is the effect where taking a pill that contains no drugs (the placebo) can still lead to the patient's condition improving. The brain areas involved are the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the pregenual rostral right anterior cingulate, the right anterior insular cortex and the left nucleus accumbens. The increased activity is due to the release of the body's natural painkillers, chemicals called endorphins.
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