Solo Episode
March 4, 2024

How Placebo Effects Work to Change Our Biology & Psychology

Listen or watch on your favorite platforms

In this episode, I discuss placebo and belief and mindset effects — all of which exert a powerful and real influence on our biology and psychology. I discuss how your beliefs and expectation that a certain outcome will occur after taking a substance (or any intervention cause genuine changes in brain and bodily function. I discuss how placebos can change neurotransmitter and hormone release, pain levels, whether the stress response is beneficial or detrimental and more. I also explain how placebo effects can work with traditional drug or behavioral treatments to help improve health outcomes and why some people are more susceptible to placebo effects. By the end of the episode, listeners will understand the placebo effect, how it works, and how beliefs and mindsets can be leveraged toward mental health, physical health, and performance goals.

Journal Articles

Huberman Lab Episodes Mentioned

People Mentioned

  • Ivan Pavlov: physiologist, developed the conditioned reflex concept
  • Ted Kaptchuk: Harvard professor of medicine, studies placebo effects
  • Alia Crum: Stanford professor of psychology, studies mindset and belief effects
No items found.
  • 00:00:00 Placebo Effects
  • 00:02:40 Sponsors: Eight Sleep, AeroPress & Levels
  • 00:07:24 Placebo, Nocebo vs. Belief Effect, Prefrontal Cortex
  • 00:14:03 Dopamine, Placebo & Parkinson’s Disease; Placebo Controls
  • 00:21:36 Hormone Release & Placebo Effect, Paired Associations
  • 00:28:52 Conditioning Effect & Insulin; Pavlovian Response
  • 00:32:50 Sponsor: AG1
  • 00:34:17 Context & Expectations; Placebo Effect & Brain
  • 00:40:51 Cancer, Mind-Body Practices; Placebo Effects & Limits
  • 00:44:54 Asthma, Specificity & Placebo Effects
  • 00:48:01 Sponsor: InsideTracker
  • 00:49:03 Nicotine & Dose-Dependent Placebo Effects
  • 00:55:31 Placebo Effects vs. Belief Effects, Food & Mindset
  • 01:01:02 Exercise & Belief Effects
  • 01:04:08 Placebo Effect, Brain & Stress Response
  • 01:11:18 Individual Variation, Genetics & Placebo Effect
  • 01:16:11 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Become a Huberman Lab Premium member to access full episode transcripts & more

Members also get to submit questions for AMA episodes, plus access to exclusive bonus content. A significant portion of proceeds are donated to fund human scientific research.

Become a Member

or sign in to view this Transcript

No items found.

Join 500,000+ subscribers to get regular emails on neuroscience, health, and science-related tools from Dr. Andrew Huberman.

You'll also get Andrew's exclusive Daily Blueprint. In it, Andrew shares his daily routine. He also shares practical tools and protocols that you can use to stay productive and maximize your health.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By submitting your email to subscribe, you agree to Scicomm Media's Privacy Policy