Experiments that demonstrate the power of words

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A note for Lesson no. 5, "Your Brain Secretly Works With Other Brains," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 89 is:

In my research lab, we run experiments that demonstrate the power of words to affect the brain.

The appendix adds:

My lab’s research on the power of words, in which participants listened to scenarios and imagined them while having their brain scanned, is discussed in several papers.

For more information on this research, see these references.[1][2]


  1. Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D., Lisa Feldman Barrett, and Lawrence W. Barsalou. 2013. “Situating Emotional Experience.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7: 1–16.
  2. Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D., Alexa Henriques, Lawrence W. Barsalou, and Lisa Feldman Barrett. 2019. “Primary interoceptive cortex activity during simulated experiences of the body.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 31 (2): 221–235.