Using learning strategies to inhibit the nocebo effect

Veronica F. Quinn*, Ben Colagiuri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Learning is a key mechanism underpinning the development of the nocebo effect. The learning literature has cataloged and explored numerous ways in which the environment can be manipulated to prevent, reduce, or eradicate learning. Knowledge of these processes could be used to both inhibit the development of nocebo effects and reduce already established nocebo learning. This review describes the available evidence on how such learning strategies have, or could be, applied to reduce the nocebo effect in both healthy participants and patients to date. These learning strategies include overshadowing, latent inhibition, extinction, and contingency degradation. These strategies represent important new avenues for investigation and should be used by researchers to design and test interventions to reduce nocebo effects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of the placebo effect
EditorsLuana Colloca
Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780128143254, 9780128143261
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Neurobiology
ISSN (Print)0074-7742
ISSN (Electronic)2162-5514


  • nocebo effects
  • learning strategies
  • hyperalgesia
  • conditioned nausea


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