Raz LabRaz Lab

Placebo Studies

Placebos constitute an advantageous vehicle to elucidate mind–body regulation. We investigate placebo effects and placebo responses, and some of the data that bear on these elusive clinical and research themes.

  • Effects of Open Placebo Administration
  • Exploring the use of placebos in clinical practice
  • Teaching placebo science in medical school
  • Placebo analogies in diet and food culture
  • The non-drug effects of medication
  • Exploring the pharmacological treatment of depression
  • Suggestibility of Children vs Adults

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Clinical Studies

  • Psychological Aspects of Lactose Intolerance
  • Top-down mechanisms of chronic idiopathic urticaria
  • Psychological components of asthma (open/hidden design)
  • Effect of the consent form on pain

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Hypnosis Studies

Hypnosis is utilized in our reesarch as a means to probe atypical attention, suggestion, and psychopathologies. Atypical attention denotes an experimental way to study attention by perturbing the plane of attention, rather than from changing the experimental task.

  • Stroop
  • McGurk
  • MoTraK
  • Popout in Visual Search

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Attention Training

As part of our research with atypical attention, we focus on attention training (AT), an approach to early child education that places emphasis on improving self-regulation. AT operates in close coordination with other trainable cognitive modules such as working memory.

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Psychology of Magic

Over the past decade empirical studies have increasingly yoked magic and cognitive science. Magic offers an unusual lens on applied cognition: magicians fool our perceptual and sensory systems and scientists are curious to find out the underlying mechanisms. Early accounts involving joint efforts by scholars and magi- cians have found their way into prestigious scientific journals such as Nature Reviews Neuroscience as well as popular science venues. Thus, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists are beginning to appreciate the study of magic as a vehicle to realizing rigorous investigations of real world events with practical impli- cations onto applied cognition. We focus on ecological situations which involve principles used in magic. Our work involves probing and elucidating the cognitive maps of children and adults who witness magical effects.

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Meditation and Mindfulness

Studying both experienced practitioners and novices, we aim to elucidate the influence that meditation practice and mindfulness-based cognitive strategies wield over cognition and emotion. Employing classical attention tasks in concert with eye-tracking technology and event-related potentials, we investigate whether and how meditation training allows experienced practitioners to pay attention in a more open and receptive manner. In addition, we study how such mindful attention impacts emotional regulation, phenomenal experience, and spontaneous thought in everyday life.

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Neural Correlates of Thought

Producing visual images capable of rousing even devout conformists, neuroimaging has transformed the neurosciences. While most experts agree on the relative merits and limitations of neuroimaging technology, many consumers embrace brain imaging without critically heeding its inherent shortcomings. With popular sensationalism intimating forms of technological mind-reading, including fMRI-based lie detectors in courtrooms, such methodologies often fascinate rather than explain.

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Justice and Law

Recent reports from the cognitive developmental science gained increasing attention in the domains of legal theory and practice with regard to the culpability and blameworthiness of adolescents. Incorporating these findings into the legal milieu, however, remains largely abstract and controversial.

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