Studying the Effects of Beliefs on Daily Experiences

We each hold various expectations, conceptions and mindsets about ourselves and the world around us. Together, they construct our beliefs - the lenses through which we perceive the world.

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One prominent example for the effects of beliefs is the placebo effect…

In the placebo effect - beliefs regarding a treatment, rather than the treatment itself, can induce a robust, physiological and long-lasting improvement in symptoms.

 

We now know that these improvements are driven by a series of neurobiological reactions to the mere belief of being treated.

In fact, our beliefs have a much wider influence

It is becoming increasingly evident that people’s beliefs significantly modulate their perception of - and responses to - the world.

 

Our lab argues that beliefs act in all areas of life to influence various aspects of daily experiences, from decision-making to well-being.

 
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Our Vision

Our lab strives to elucidate how beliefs shape our perception of the world and ensuing behavior in everyday situations, and translate this knowledge by developing interventions to improve health and well-being.

We study people’s behavior, physiological responses, hormonal levels and blood biomarkers in both healthy and clinical populations - to delineate the mechanisms by which beliefs exert their effect. 

Our Big Questions

 

Health perceptions:

Can perceptions of our own health impact the symptoms we experience when sick?
 

Can we use health perceptions to alter disease progress or improve treatment efficacy?

Mind-Body interactions:

Do expectations regarding bodily functioning alter brain-body interactions?


Can we induce expectations regarding people’s own abilities to boost their performance?

Life-long conceptions:

Do superstitions and stereotypes change the way we process information? How?


Do these processes differ in psychiatric disorders such as autism, depression, or PTSD?

Psychobiological Tools and Skillsets

We employ various tools to probe how beliefs influence the brain and body, including:

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What does our science look like?

We study both healthy and clinical populations, both in the lab and outside of it:

In-lab experiments

We explore various types of beliefs and how they lead to changes in behavior through tracking changes in physiology, hormonal levels and gene expression.

Our Team

 
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Picture by: Inbal Raverby

Liron Rozenkrantz

Principal Investigator

Hi, I’m Liron, head of the “Psychobiology of Beliefs Lab”. I have always been fascinated by the idea that our beliefs and expectations can
drive a real biological impact!

The lab is a place for biologists, psychologists, health-care workers and others to work together with the goal of understanding - and harnessing - people’s beliefs to improve public health and well-being. 
It is also a place to enjoy science, learn and grow - in an inclusive, collaborative and nourishing environment.

If you find these ideas interesting, and would like to know more – contact us!

In the Media

Liron Rozenkrantz

20 Rising Stars of MIT's Brain Research Institute

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Want to boost your creativity? Try using a placebo

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Autistic people challenge preconceived ideas about rationality

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We’re hiring!

We are looking for curious and motivated Master’s, PhD, and MD-PhD students to join our team!

As a multidisciplinary lab, we welcome people from various backgrounds: clinical, psychological, biological and more. 

 

We have several different projects that you could work on, and we’re also open to new ideas. 

 

Plus, we have a great view! :)

 

Contact Us

If you want to find out more or inquire about joining us, collaborating, inviting a talk or other, get in touch!

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