16 February 2011
Vol 3, Issue 70

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Anticipator of Maladies. Although the power of the placebo effect—innocuous therapies that salve a patient's symptoms—has been recognized for centuries, little is known about the physiological mechanisms behind this intriguing and potentially potent phenomenon. In this issue of Science Translational Medicine, Bingel and colleagues use a combination of pain-provoking heat, a painkiller, conditioning regimens, and neuroimaging to study the placebo effect by visualizing how different parts of the brain that deal with emotions and past experiences function during the enhancement or squelching of a patient's response to treatment. See also the accompanying Perspective by Gollub and Kong. [CREDIT: COMSTOCK]