The Think-Tank seminar series

The ‘healing response’


Professor Paul Dieppe, University of Exeter Medical School

Date and time

12:00 - 1:00pm, 19 October 2012


Humans have evolved the ability to control disease and illness.  In addition to well-known biological mechanisms present throughout the animal kingdom, such as immunological defence mechanisms, humans are hard-wired for ‘caring responses’, allowing them protect the pack or herd, and making sure that they can look after their young during their lengthy maturation period.  Therefore, Interpersonal interactions can trigger intrinsic healing mechanisms.

This ‘healing response’ is seen in a variety of settings, including clinical trials, where it is pejoratively dismissed by biomedical scientists as the ‘placebo response’.

I will discuss some aspects of the placebo response, and show a video illustrating activation of the healing response in a non-medical setting.