Possible contribution of quantum-like correlations to the placebo effect: consequences on blind trialsReport as inadecuate

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Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling

, 14:12

First Online: 02 June 2017Received: 15 February 2017Accepted: 25 May 2017DOI: 10.1186-s12976-017-0058-5

Cite this article as: Beauvais, F. Theor Biol Med Model 2017 14: 12. doi:10.1186-s12976-017-0058-5


BackgroundFactors that participate in the biological changes associated with a placebo are not completely understood. Natural evolution, mean regression, concomitant procedures and other non specific effects are well-known factors that contribute to the -placebo effect-. In this article, we suggest that quantum-like correlations predicted by a probabilistic modeling could also play a role.

ResultsAn elementary experiment in biology or medicine comparing the biological changes associated with two placebos is modeled. The originality of this modeling is that experimenters, biological system and their interactions are described together from the standpoint of a participant who is uninvolved in the measurement process. Moreover, the small random probability fluctuations of a -real- experiment are also taken into account. If both placebos are inert with only different labels, common sense suggests that the biological changes associated with the two placebos should be comparable. However, the consequence of this modeling is the possibility for two placebos to be associated with different outcomes due to the emergence of quantum-like correlations.

ConclusionThe association of two placebos with different outcomes is counterintuitive and this modeling could give a framework for some unexplained observations where mere placebos are compared in some alternative medicines for example. This hypothesis can be tested in blind trials by comparing local vs. remote assessment of correlations.

KeywordsPlacebo effect Quantum-like correlations Experimenter effect Randomized clinical trials 

Author: Francis Beauvais

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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