11th Symposium - 2016

BIAL Foundation Symposium 
BEHIND AND BEYOND THE BRAIN

Placebo effects, healing and meditation

20:00 - 21:15
Registration
21:15 - 21:45
Opening Session
21:45 - 22:30
Opening Conference

Chairman | Fernando Lopes da Silva

Emeritus Professor of General Physiology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Head researcher of the Higher Technical Institute (IST) of Lisbon, Portugal. Research interests: electrophysiology of the brain, origin of epileptic phenomena, neuronal networks in relation to memory, attention and consciousness.

Irving Kirsch

Associate Director Program in Placebo Studies, Beth Deaconess Israel Medical Center, USA, Lecturer in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Professor Emeritus, Universities of Plymouth, Hull and Connecticut. Associate Editor: National Library for Health, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Specialist Library, NHS, and of Contemporary Hypnosis & lntegrative Therapy, Hypnosis lnternational Monographs. Published more than 240 papers in outstanding scientific journals and ten books, among them Handbook of clinical hypnosis (2010) and The emperor's new drugs: Exploding the antidepressant myth (2010). Research interests: placebo effects, depression, antidepressants, acupuncture, suggestion, suggestibility, automaticity, memory, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, hypnosis, anxiety, history and philosophy of psychology.

1st session Placebo effects: underlying mechanisms

Moderator | Rainer Goebel

09:00 - 09:15
Opening remarks

Rainer Goebel

Full professor for Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Founding director of the Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre (M-BIC) and team leader of the "Neuromodeling and Neuroimaging" group, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN), Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Research interests: neuronal representations in the brain and how they are processed to enable specific perceptual and cognitive functions, neural correlates of visual awareness, clinical applications in brain computer interfaces (BCls) and neurofeedback studies.

09:15 - 09:45
Teach the T cells: How learning can shape immunity

Manfred Schedlowski

Professor and Director of the lnstitute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural lmmunobiology, Medical Faculty, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, interrupted by a research stay as Professor of Psychology and Behavioural lmmunobiology, Swiss Federal lnstitute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland (2004-2007). Research interests: neurobiology of placebo and nocebo responses, in particular the mechanisms and clinical relevance of behavioural or Pavlovian conditioning of immune and neuroendocrine functions.

09:50 - 10:20
The neurophysiology of placebo effects: A window on the workings of mind-body medicine

Tor Wager

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and faculty member in the Institute for Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. Member of the Editorial and Peer-Review Board of outstanding Journals in Psychiatry and Neurosciences. Research interests: influence of thought in affective experiences, brain-body communication and software toolboxes for fMRI analysis.

10:25 - 10:55
Neurochemical systems involved in the formation of placebo effects in pain and Major Depression

Jon-Kar Zubieta

Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology, University of Michigan, and Research Professor, Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. Ad-hoc reviewer in more than sixty outstanding Journals, mainly in Psychiatry and Neurosciences and member of the editorial board of Journals in Neurosciences. Published more than 160 original papers in scientific, peer-reviewed journals. Research interests: functional neuroimaging, stress and emotion regulatory mechanisms in the human brain, pathophysiology of mood and substance use disorders, integration of genetic-neurobiological mechanisms in mood and substance use disorders and neurobiological mechanisms of placebo effects.

11:00- 11:30
Coffee, posters session and contacts with faculty
11:30 - 12:15
Keynote lecture: The challenge of mapping placebo mechanisms across diseases

Fabrizio Benedetti

Professor of Neurophysiology and Human Physiology, University of Turin Medical School, Italy. Member of the European Working Group on Pain and Impaired Cognition. Member of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Awarded the “Seymour Solomon Award” of the American Headache Society and the “Helitzka Prize”, Academy of Sciences, Turin. Member of the Editorial Board of Pain and Current Neuropharmacology. Research interests: neurophysiology, placebo effect, pain, nocebo.

12:30 - 13:00
Morning Discussion
13:00 - 14:30
Lunch
14:30 - 15:30
Posters oral presentations - Bial Foundation Fellows

Moderator | Mário Simões

Professor of Psychiatry and Consciousness Sciences, Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon, Portugal. Director of the Post-Graduation Course in Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon. Research interests: psychology and psychophysiology of altered states of consciousness, ethnomedicine, human exceptional experiences and psychology and spirituality.

15:30 - 16:00
Coffee, posters session and contacts with faculty
16:00 - 17:00
Posters oral presentations - Bial Foundation Fellows

2nd session: Placebo and Nocebo in Medicine

Moderator | Miguel Castelo-Branco

09:00 - 09:15
Opening remarks

Moderator | Miguel Castelo-Branco

Professor of Biophysics and Mathematics and Visual Sciences and Director of IBILI and ICNAS, University of Coimbra. Several awards on Neuroscience. Dozens of papers published on Bioengineering, Visual Neuroscience and Clinical Neuroscience. Consultant (peer-reviewer) for several journals on Neuroscience and Visual Sciences. Scientific Secretary of the European Society EVER (Visual Sciences). Research interests: sensory and cognitive neuroscience in healthy and ill populations.

09:15 - 09:45
Unsolved, forgotten, and/or ignored features of the placebo response in medicine

Paul Enck

Director of Research and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine VI/ Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospitals Tübingen, Germany. More than 190 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals mainly in neurogastroenterology. Honorary President of the German Neurogastro Society. Reviewer for several grant agencies and consultant for numerous companies in pharma and medical technology. Research interests: psychosomatic medicine, psychotherapy and neurogastroenterology.

09:50 - 10:20
Placebo Effects in Clinical Practice

Ted Kaptchuk

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Director of the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies & Therapeutic Encounter hosted at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Boston, USA. Member of the Editorial and Peer-Review Board of outstanding Journals in Medicine and Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Research interests: multi-disciplinary investigation of placebo effects, placebo controls and the patient-physician relationship that integrates concepts, research designs and analytic methods drawn from the clinical, basic, and social sciences as well as the humanities, Traditional Chinese Medicine, physiological experiments, neuroimaging, anthropological investigations, patient-oriented integrative medicine.

10:25 - 10:55
Placebo science: Magic you can really believe in

Amir Raz

Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Psychology, Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Canada, Head of the Raz Lab. Active communicator of popular science with documentaries on specific neuroscience topics (e.g., with the BBC, National Geographic, and CBC). Authored more than a hundred peer-reviewed publications in outstanding journals as well as the two recent books “Talking Placebos: Modern perspectives on placebos in society” and “Hypnosis and Meditation: Towards an Integrative Science of Conscious Planes”. Research interests: psychology, neuroscience (automatic processes and voluntary control), philosophy, critical thinking, neuropsychology, hypnosis, placebo science.

11:00 - 11:30
Coffee, posters session and contacts with faculty
11:30 - 12:15
Conferência: Placebo analgesia - challenges and opportunities for clinical practice

Damien Finniss

Associate Professor, researcher and clinician, University of Sydney Pain Management Research Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, and Griffith University School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Australia. Chairman of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) group on Placebo. He has a unique clinical background with initial clinical training and experience in Physiotherapy, where he specialised in Pain Management working in a large multidisciplinary chronic pain management centre. He then proceeded to clinical training in medicine, working in both general acute and chronic medicine, before returning to current roles in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine practice. Published multiple papers and textbook chapters on the topic Placebo. Scientific interests: role of the therapeutic context and how this can modulate pain and treatment outcomes, placebo effects and clinical implications of the research on placebo.

12:30 - 13:00
Morning Discussion
13:00 - 14:30
Lunch
14:30 - 16:30
Parallel Workshops (W)

W 1 - Room Braga; only questions from the audience will be translated

Placebo effects - Mechanisms: Neurobiological basis and controversies

Moderator | Axel Cleeremans

Research Director, Consciousness, Cognition & Computation Group, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. Author of numerous papers on implicit learning and consciousness and editor of the books “The Unity of Consciousness: Binding, Integration and Dissociation” and “The Oxford Companion to Consciousness”. Member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. Research interests: consciousness and implicit learning, models of conscious and unconscious cognition, neural network of cognitive processes.

Invited discussants: Fabrizio Benedetti, Ted Kaptchuk, Jon-Kar Zubieta

Fabrizio Benedetti

Professor of Neurophysiology and Human Physiology, University of Turin Medical School, Italy. Member of the European Working Group on Pain and Impaired Cognition. Member of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Awarded the “Seymour Solomon Award” of the American Headache Society and the “Helitzka Prize”, Academy of Sciences, Turin. Member of the Editorial Board of Pain and Current Neuropharmacology. Research interests: neurophysiology, placebo effect, pain, nocebo.

Ted Kaptchuk

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Director of the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies & Therapeutic Encounter hosted at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Boston, USA. Member of the Editorial and Peer-Review Board of outstanding Journals in Medicine and Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Research interests: multi-disciplinary investigation of placebo effects, placebo controls and the patient-physician relationship that integrates concepts, research designs and analytic methods drawn from the clinical, basic, and social sciences as well as the humanities, Traditional Chinese Medicine, physiological experiments, neuroimaging, anthropological investigations, patient-oriented integrative medicine.

Jon-Kar Zubieta

Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology, University of Michigan, and Research Professor, Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. Ad-hoc reviewer in more than sixty outstanding Journals, mainly in Psychiatry and Neurosciences and member of the editorial board of Journals in Neurosciences. Published more than 160 original papers in scientific, peer-reviewed journals. Research interests: functional neuroimaging, stress and emotion regulatory mechanisms in the human brain, pathophysiology of mood and substance use disorders, integration of genetic-neurobiological mechanisms in mood and substance use disorders and neurobiological mechanisms of placebo effects.

W 2 - Room Medicoteca; only questions from the audience will be translated

Placebo or Nocebo effects - Methodological issues: The Cochrane database of Systematic reviews

Moderator | Dick Bierman

Heymans Chair of Exceptional Experiences, University for Humanistics, Utrecht, Netherlands (Emeritus). PhD in Experimental Physics, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Research interests: consciousness studies, artificial intelligence, learning during altered states of consciousness (especially during sleep), non-conscious emotions and their role in (intuitive) decision-making, pre-sentiment (anomalous body arousal preceding emotional events), relation between quantum physics and consciousness.

Invited discussant | Paul Enck

Director of Research and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine VI/ Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospitals Tübingen, Germany. More than 190 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals mainly in neurogastroenterology. Honorary President of the German Neurogastro Society. Reviewer for several grant agencies and consultant for numerous companies in pharma and medical technology. Research interests: psychosomatic medicine, psychotherapy and neurogastroenterology.

Invited discussant | Tor Wager

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and faculty member in the Institute for Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. Member of the Editorial and Peer-Review Board of outstanding Journals in Psychiatry and Neurosciences. Research interests: influence of thought in affective experiences, brain-body communication and software toolboxes for fMRI analysis.

W 3 - Room Auditorium; simultaneous translation will be assured

Meditation, Mindfulness and Healing: The significance of findings in Mind-Matter interaction research

Moderator | Mário Simões

Professor of Psychiatry and Consciousness Sciences, Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon, Portugal. Director of the Post-Graduation Course in Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon. Research interests: psychology and psychophysiology of altered states of consciousness, ethnomedicine, human exceptional experiences and psychology and spirituality.

Invited discussants: Amir Raz, Tania Re, Stefan Schmidt, Jessica Utts


Invited discussant | Amir Raz

Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Psychology, Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Canada, Head of the Raz Lab. Active communicator of popular science with documentaries on specific neuroscience topics (e.g., with the BBC, National Geographic, and CBC). Authored more than a hundred peer-reviewed publications in outstanding journals as well as the two recent books “Talking Placebos: Modern perspectives on placebos in society” and “Hypnosis and Meditation: Towards an Integrative Science of Conscious Planes”. Research interests: psychology, neuroscience (automatic processes and voluntary control), philosophy, critical thinking, neuropsychology, hypnosis, placebo science.


Invited discussant | Tania Re

Assistant Professor of Ethnomedicine and Ethnopsychology, Faculty of Medicine, Torino, and University of Florence, Italy. Psychologist, Medical Anthropologist, Founder and Board Member of the UNESCO Chair “Health Anthropology, Biosphere and Healing systems”, University of Genoa, Italy. Researcher and fellow at the Regional Centre for Phytotherapy (CERFIT) in Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy. Research interests: field research in Peru on traditional medicine, medical anthropology, traditional healing systems processes connecting mind, body and spirit and Teaching Plants and States of Consciousness.


Invited discussant | Stefan Schmidt

Research Fellow and Head of the Academic Section at the Evaluation Group for Complementary Medicine, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre, Freiburg, Germany. Professor of Transcultural Health Studies, Europa University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. Research interests: complementary and alternative medicine, psychophysiology, consciousness research, mindfulness meditation, experimental parapsychology, exceptional experiences, placebo research and brain-computer interface.


Invited discussant | Jessica Utts

Professor and Chair, Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine, USA. Chief Reader, Advancement Placement Statistics in the Educational Testing Service. Chair of the Board of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) and member of the Board of National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). Published scientific papers on statistics of parapsychological and alternative medicine issues. Editor of the book Seeing Through Statistics, 4th Edition (2014) and co-editor of Mind On Statistics, 5th Edition (2015) and of Statistical ldeas and Methods (2006). Research interests: applied statistics.

17:00 - 18:00
Get-together Cheese & Wine

3rd Session Placebo, Health and Healing

Moderator | Caroline Watt

09:00 - 09:15
Opening remarks

Moderator | Caroline Watt

A founder member of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit, and Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Former Perrott-Warrick Senior Researcher and Past President of the Parapsychological Association, co-author of the book “An Introduction to Parapsychology” and author of journal articles on parapsychology and paranormal beliefs. Research interests: replication issues in parapsychology, the psychology and parapsychology of precognitive dream experiences.

09:15 - 09:45
Cross-cultural aspects of Health and disease

Antonio Guerci

Full Professor of Anthropology, Head, Department of Anthropological Sciences, Head of the Museum of Ethnomedicine ”A. Scarpa”, and Head of UNESCO Chair "Anthropology of health. Biosphere and care systems", University of Genoa, ltaly. Expert Adviser of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, in "Traditional Medicines Programme", and of the University of Toluca, Mexico, in the programme "Anthropology and Pain". Honorary Professor in Universidad Cientifica del Sur, Lima, Peru. Vice President of the European Society of Ethnopharmacology. Published over 380 titles including books, monographs, articles and scientific communications. Research interests: medical anthropology, ethnomedicine, human biotypology and environmental, cultural and biological adaptation of different human populations.

09:50 - 10:20
The Possible Role of Mental Influence in Evidence-Based Medicine

Jessica Utts

Professor and Chair, Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine, USA. Chief Reader, Advancement Placement Statistics in the Educational Testing Service. Chair of the Board of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) and member of the Board of National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). Published scientific papers on statistics of parapsychological and alternative medicine issues. Editor of the book Seeing Through Statistics, 4th Edition (2014) and co-editor of Mind On Statistics, 5th Edition (2015) and of Statistical ldeas and Methods (2006). Research interests: applied statistics.

10:25 - 10:55
Healing through meaning: placebo, meditation and beyond

Stefan Schmidt

Research Fellow and Head of the Academic Section at the Evaluation Group for Complementary Medicine, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre, Freiburg, Germany. Professor of Transcultural Health Studies, Europa University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. Research interests: complementary and alternative medicine, psychophysiology, consciousness research, mindfulness meditation, experimental parapsychology, exceptional experiences, placebo research and brain-computer interface.

11:00 - 11:30
Coffee, posters session and contacts with faculty
11:30 - 12:15
Conference: Brains and Beyond: The Unfolding Vision of Health and Healing

Larry Dossey

Physician of Internal Medicine, author, consultant and lecturer. Co-Founder and executive editor of the peer-reviewed journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing and was founder and executive editor of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Past president of The Isthmus Institute of Dallas. Former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Published numerous articles and is the author of twelve books, including One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why lt Matters (2013), The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives (2009). Scientific interests: to anchor the so-called holistic health movement in a model that is scientifically respectable and which, at the same time, answers to humankind’s inner spiritual needs.

12:30 - 13:00
Morning Discussion
13:00 - 14:30
Lunch
14:30 - 16:30
Round-table

Ethics of the Placebo in Medicine

Chairman | João Lobo Antunes

Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery, University of Lisbon, Portugal. President of the Portuguese National Ethics Council for the Life Sciences (CNECV). President Emeritus of the Institute of Molecular Medicine. Vice-president of the Health Cluster Portugal. Published more than one hundred and eighty papers in neuroscience, culture and ethics. Member of the editorial board of outstanding Journals in neurosurgery. Received several awards including "Pessoa Prize". Author of several books including Egas Moniz - Uma Biografia, A Nova Medicina, and Ouvir com Outros Olhos. Research interests: ethics in medicine, neurosurgery, education issues in higher education.

Participants: Irving Kirsch, Paul Enck, Damien Finniss


Invited discussant | Irving Kirsch

Associate Director Program in Placebo Studies, Beth Deaconess Israel Medical Center, USA, Lecturer in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Professor Emeritus, Universities of Plymouth, Hull and Connecticut. Associate Editor: National Library for Health, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Specialist Library, NHS, and of Contemporary Hypnosis & lntegrative Therapy, Hypnosis lnternational Monographs. Published more than 240 papers in outstanding scientific journals and ten books, among them Handbook of clinical hypnosis (2010) and The emperor's new drugs: Exploding the antidepressant myth (2010). Research interests: placebo effects, depression, antidepressants, acupuncture, suggestion, suggestibility, automaticity, memory, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, hypnosis, anxiety, history and philosophy of psychology.


Invited discussant | Paul Enck

Director of Research and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine VI/ Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospitals Tübingen, Germany. More than 190 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals mainly in neurogastroenterology. Honorary President of the German Neurogastro Society. Reviewer for several grant agencies and consultant for numerous companies in pharma and medical technology. Research interests: psychosomatic medicine, psychotherapy and neurogastroenterology.


Invited discussant | Damien Finniss

Associate Professor, researcher and clinician, University of Sydney Pain Management Research Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, and Griffith University School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Australia. Chairman of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) group on Placebo. He has a unique clinical background with initial clinical training and experience in Physiotherapy, where he specialised in Pain Management working in a large multidisciplinary chronic pain management centre. He then proceeded to clinical training in medicine, working in both general acute and chronic medicine, before returning to current roles in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine practice. Published multiple papers and textbook chapters on the topic Placebo. Scientific interests: role of the therapeutic context and how this can modulate pain and treatment outcomes, placebo effects and clinical implications of the research on placebo.