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What is placebo effect ?

  1. Apr 30, 2003 #1
    In the picture, you can see a red spot and a blue "stick". If you place your finger or a pen at the position of the blue stick at the area of the red spot, you'll feel dizzy even if you close your eyes. The finger / pen should be put as close as possible near your forehead without touching your skin. (I hope you can understand what I mean) Why is it so ?

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2003 #2
    I don't know if anyone else has got the same problem but I could not get the link to work, sorry.
  4. Apr 30, 2003 #3
    I got a dead link too.
  5. Apr 30, 2003 #4
  6. Apr 30, 2003 #5


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    Hmm... I don't feel dizzy. Maybe it's a placebo effect?
  7. Apr 30, 2003 #6
    What is placebo effect ?

    Perhaps I wasn't specific enough. You can move your finger from the mid point of your eyes up by about 0.3 - 1.5 cm, there should be a particular point which can make you feel uncomfortable. Your finger should be just 0.2-0.6 mm above your skin (ie should be as close as possible). Some of my friends tried and it really works.
  8. Apr 30, 2003 #7
  9. Apr 30, 2003 #8
    The placebo effect...BOULDERHEAD LINK...basically, FZ+ was saying that you think you will be dizzy therefore you are dizzy.

    I think you must focus in on the end of your finger to feel dizzy, other than that, my Ajana gets stimulated
  10. Apr 30, 2003 #9
    My friend pointed her finger in front of my forehead and I felt dizzy without knowing this method can in fact make a person dizzy. So I don't think it is a psychological effect.It works even if you close your eyes! You can feel when your friend points a finger to your forehead.
  11. Apr 30, 2003 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    I felt nothing.
  12. Apr 30, 2003 #11
    I got a little dizzy. But I'm drinking beer.
  13. May 1, 2003 #12
    It used to happen to me when I was a child, but it doesn't happen anymore.
  14. May 1, 2003 #13
    Put your finger at the mid point of your eyes (or move up 1-2 cm from that point) for at least 1 minute. YOur finger should be as close as your skin. I think I'm not a freak or I have any supernatural power! :smile:

    Well in fact I'm thinking of whether this phenomenon is related to the theory behind acupuncture or acupuncture points.
  15. May 1, 2003 #14

    Another God

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    I didn't get dizzy, but my hand sure did get sore. Wow, theres some real powerful voodoo at work here....
  16. May 1, 2003 #15
    I think it has something to do with you anticpating being touched by the pen. I wonder if your eyes were closed and you didn't know if they pen were there if it would work. I tried to do something like that, it seemed different to me.
  17. May 1, 2003 #16


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'll try that.

    And maybe the pen thing again too...

    My hand got tired and I almost fell asleep. But then that could be the beer.
  18. May 3, 2003 #17
    yeah, i've always wondered about that too ! I know what you mean, it feels like the pen is touching your skin, but it isn't. Its a kinda itchy feeling for me.

    I think its the fact that you are anticipating to be touched that gives the feeling.
  19. May 3, 2003 #18


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    But I have some reservations. I remember some experiments that took place regarding tickling. Basically, it is impossible to tickle yourself, because the motor cortex "warns" your perceptual neurones beforehand as to self-inflicted sensations. If the dizziness is related, then this should also be true.

    Hmm... I have an idea... Wet your face and then repeat the experiment, or get a friend to do it again. Do you still feel dizzy?
  20. May 4, 2003 #19
    I tried it along my entire face...felt exaclty the same-nothing.
  21. May 4, 2003 #20
    i just noticed this post but cant participate

    the link is dead

    is this jpg posted anywhere else?
  22. May 4, 2003 #21
    screwball, please copy and paste the following link in your browser instead of just clicking on it, then you'll be able to see the picture.

    Good luck screwball

    I'll get my friend to do it again tomorrow, and will try this experiment on at least 3 of my classmates, see if they can feel the same. I wet my face and did it again, and I really could feel something. As I've said before, one day, my friend pointed her finger at my forehead suddenly, I felt a little bit dizzy after a while (about 10-15 seconds), and then she asked me how I felt. Perhaps I shouldn't use the word "dizzy", well, at least you should have uncomfortable feeling.

    I'll tell you the result of the experiment tomorrow.
  23. May 7, 2003 #22
    um....school was closed on monday due to bad weather.....

    I tried this trick to my classmates, to my surprise, some of them knew it already.

    It really works, no matter your eyes are closed or opened. You can really feel something if you point your finger at the point indicated in the attached picture. Perhaps i didn't explain the method very clearly...
  24. May 8, 2003 #23
    I wouldn't describe the effect as "becoming dizzy" or even as an "itch", but more generally as an "uncomfortable feeling". The effect was greatest the first couple times and now after doing it 20-25 times, I hardly feel it. It appears to have very little to no effect when my eyes are closed.

    I think the reason it happens is because your brain is alarmed at something being so close to your eyes, normally you blink or move away to protect your eyes, but since you are resisting these actions, your brain makes you feel uncomfortable. After a while, it gets used to your finger/pen/whatever being there so the feeling subsides.
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