Dr Ben Colagiuri

Senior Lecturer
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher

A19 - Griffith Taylor Building
The University of Sydney


Website Contact Details

Biographical details

I received my PhD in 2010 from the School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia, where I currently hold a Senior Lectureship and an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. The majority of my research focuses on the placebo effect, associative learning, and psycho-oncology - with the common element being an experimental approach whereby I use experimental models to understand these fascinating aspects of human behaviour.

Research interests

Placebo Effects

Nocebo Effects

Associative Learning

Pavlovian-instrumental Transfer

Psycho-oncology

More details about my research and publications can be found on my personal page.

Current research students

Project title Research student
The Role of Expectancy in Withdrawal Symptoms Llew MILLS
Exploring attention and interpretation biases in the understanding and treatment of chronic pain Jemma TODD
The effect of choice on placebo treatment for sleep Valerie YEUNG SHI CHUNG

Awards and honours

International Congress of Behavioural Medicine Early Career Researcher Award, International Society for Behavioural Medicine, 2016

Finalist, Top 5 Under 40 ABC Science Communication Competition 2016

New South Wales Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute for Policy and Science, 2015

Australian Psychological Society (APS) Early Career Research Award, 2014

Postgraduate Publication Prize, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, 2009

Campbell-Perry International Research Travel Prize, 2007

Australian Postgraduate Award, 2006-2009

Best Presentation, University of Sydney Postgraduate Psychology Conference, 2006

Commonwealth Learning Scholarship for Academic Achievement, 2005

Invited to International Golden Key Society for Academic Achievement, 2003

In the media

The Midday Interview with Margaret Throsby, ABC Classic FM, 22nd March, 2016

Expert guest on SBS Insight’s feature “Placebo”, 22nd February, 2016

Featured on ABC Nano’s mini-documentary “Why warning labels have side effects”, 14th December, 2015

Invited article “The Placebo effect: all this hype about nothing?” for InPsych, the Australian Psychological Society’s magazine, October, 2015.

Interviewed on Prime7 News story “The placebo effect”, 22nd November, 2014

Selected to represent Psychology Foundation of Australia at Science Meets Parliament, including presenting to Federal MPs, 17-18th November, 2012

Featured in a Women’s Health story on “Placebo: fake pill, real power”, 14th November, 2011

Expert guest on Triple J Hack’s feature on the placebo effect, 4th September, 2009

Selected grants

2016

  • Something from nothing: how placebo effects are formed and maintained; Colagiuri B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).

2015

  • RCTs on Trial: How Placebo Effects Could Undermine Double-blind RCTs; Colagiuri B, Sharpe L; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2014

  • Exploring placebo effects in RCTs; Colagiuri B; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

2013

  • The psychometrics of pain: a collaboration to improve pain assessment in clinical trials; McGrane J, Colagiuri B, Sharpe L; The University of Western Australia/Research Collaboration Award.
  • The role of reward expectancy and reward availability in appetitive motivation; Lovibond P, Colagiuri B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2012

  • Extinction of placebo effects; Colagiuri B; UNSW/Early Career Research Grant.

2011

  • The placebo effect and its mechanisms; Colagiuri B; UNSW/Vice Chancellors Postdoctoral Fellowship.

2010

  • A pilot RCT comparing acupuncture needling alone with acupuncture needling plus lifestyle advice for chronic low back pain; Colagiuri B; Western Sydney University./Research Seed Grant.
  • The effects of acupuncture and instruction on exercise recovery in healthy young adults; Cheema B, Colagiuri B, Smith C; Western Sydney University./New Project Development Program Grant.

2009

  • Educating patients about chemotherapy and side-effects: What do nurses say?; Dhillon H, Jacquet J, Butow P, Jansen J, Colagiuri B, Cox K; DVC Research/Cancer Research Fund.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P. (2013). Psychological Processes that can Bias Responses to Placebo Treatment for Pain. In Luana Colloca, Magne A Flaten, Karin Meissner (Eds.), Placebo and Pain: From Bench to Bedside, (pp. 175-182). London: Academic Press.

Journals

  • Todd, J., Sharpe, L., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Attentional bias modification and pain: The role of sensory and affective stimuli. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 83, 53-61. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Livesey, E. (2016). Contextual cuing as a form of nonconscious learning: Theoretical and empirical analysis in large and very large samples. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, in press. [More Information]
  • Urroz, P., Colagiuri, B., Smith, C., Yeung, A., Cheema, B. (2016). Effect of acupuncture and instruction on physiological recovery from maximal exercise: A balanced-placebo controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Bezzina, L., Lee, J., Lovibond, P., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Extinction and renewal of cue-elicited reward-seeking. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 162-169. [More Information]
  • Mills, L., Boakes, R., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Placebo caffeine reduces withdrawal in abstinent coffee drinkers. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(4), 388-394. [More Information]
  • Quinn, V., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Sources of Placebo-Induced Relief From Nausea: The Role of Instruction and Conditioning. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78(3), 365-372. [More Information]
  • Tonin, R., Brett, J., Colagiuri, B. (2016). The effect of infrasound and negative expectations to adverse pathological symptoms from wind farms. Journal of Low Frequency Noise Vibration and Active Control, 35(1), 77-90. [More Information]
  • Todd, J., Sharpe, L., Colagiuri, B., Khatibi, A. (2016). The effect of threat on cognitive biases and pain outcomes: An eye-tracking study. European Journal of Pain, 20(8), 1357-1368. [More Information]
  • Lovibond, P., Satkunarajah, M., Colagiuri, B. (2015). Extinction Can Reduce the Impact of Reward Cues on Reward-Seeking Behavior. Behavior Therapy, 46(4), 432-438. [More Information]
  • Quinn, V., MacDougall, H., Colagiuri, B. (2015). Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation: A new model of placebo-induced nausea. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78, 484-488. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P. (2015). How food cues can enhance and inhibit motivation to obtain and consume food. Appetite, 84, 79-87. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Quinn, V., Colloca, L. (2015). Nocebo Hyperalgesia, Partial Reinforcement, and Extinction. The Journal of Pain, 16(10), 995-1004. [More Information]
  • Quinn, V., Colagiuri, B. (2015). Placebo interventions for nausea: A systematic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(3), 449-462. [More Information]
  • Neukirch, N., Colagiuri, B. (2015). The placebo effect, sleep difficulty, and side effects: a balanced placebo model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38(2), 273-283. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Schenk, L., Kessler, M., Dorsey, S., Colloca, L. (2015). The placebo effect: From concepts to genes. Neuroscience, 307, 171-190. [More Information]
  • Todd, J., Sharpe, L., Johnson, A., Nicholson-Perry, K., Colagiuri, B., Dear, B. (2015). Towards a new model of attentional biases in the development, maintenance and management of pain. Pain, 156(9), 1589-1600. [More Information]
  • Au Yeung, S., Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P., Colloca, L. (2014). Partial reinforcement, extinction, and placebo analgesia. Pain, 155(6), 1110-1117. [More Information]
  • Yeung, A., Kiat, H., Denniss, A., Cheema, B., Bensoussan, A., Machliss, B., Colagiuri, B., Chang, D. (2014). Randomised controlled trial of a 12 week yoga intervention on negative affective states, cardiovascular and cognitive function in post-cardiac rehabilitation patients. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14, 411-420. [More Information]
  • Carmady, B., Smith, C., Colagiuri, B. (2013). A comparison of decision-making processes for conventional and complementary medicine in cancer patients. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 19, 32-35. [More Information]
  • Tang, C., Colagiuri, B. (2013). Can an educational handout enhance placebo analgesia for experimentally-induced pain? PloS One, 8(10), 1-6. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Dhillon, H., Butow, P., Jansen, J., Cox, K., Jacquet, J. (2013). Does Assessing Patients' Expectancies About Chemotherapy Side Effects Influence Their Occurrence? Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 46(2), 275-281. [More Information]
  • Urroz, P., Colagiuri, B., Smith, C., Cheema, B. (2013). Effect of Acute Acupuncture Treatment on Exercise Performance and Postexercise Recovery: A Systematic Review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(1), 9-16. [More Information]
  • Cheema, B., Houridis, A., Busch, L., Raschke-Cheema, V., Melville, G., Marshall, P., Chang, D., Machliss, B., Lonsdale, C., Bowman, J., Colagiuri, B. (2013). Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13, 1-10. [More Information]
  • Lovibond, P., Colagiuri, B. (2013). Facilitation of Voluntary Goal-Directed Action by Reward Cues. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2030-2037. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., King, M., Butow, P., McGrane, J., Luckett, T., Price, M., Birney, D. (2012). A comparison of the FACT-G and the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) in women with ovarian cancer: unidimensionality of constructs. Quality of Life Research, 21(5), 887-897. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Smith, C. (2012). A systematic review of the effect of expectancy on treatment responses to acupuncture. Evidence - Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1-12. [More Information]
  • Melville, G., Chang, D., Colagiuri, B., Marshall, P., Cheema, B. (2012). Fifteen minutes of chair-based yoga postures or guided meditation performed in the office can elicit a relaxation response. Evidence - Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1-9. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., McGuinness, K., Boakes, R., Butow, P. (2012). Warning about side effects can increase their occurrence: an experimental model using placebo treatment for sleep difficulty. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 26(12), 1540-1547. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Livesey, E., Harris, J. (2011). Can expectancies produce placebo effects for implicit learning? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18(3), 399-405. [More Information]
  • Cheema, B., Marshall, P., Chang, D., Colagiuri, B., Machliss, B. (2011). Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 11(578), 1-5. [More Information]
  • Oguchi, M., Jansen, J., Butow, P., Colagiuri, B., Divine, R., Dhillon, H. (2011). Measuring the impact of nurse cue-response behaviour on cancer patients' emotional cues. Patient Education and Counseling, 82(2), 163-168. [More Information]
  • Cao, H., Hu, H., Colagiuri, B., Liu, J. (2011). Medicinal cupping therapy in 30 patients with fibromyalgia: A case series observation. Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 18(3), 122-126. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Christensen, S., Jensen, A., Price, M., Butow, P., Zachariae, R. (2011). Prevalence and predictors of sleep difficulty in a National Cohort of Women with Primary Breast Cancer Three to Four Months Postsurgery. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 42(5), 710-720. [More Information]
  • Roscoe, J., Morrow, G., Colagiuri, B., Heckler, C., Pudlo, B., Colman, L., Hoelzer, K., Jacobs, A. (2010). Insight in the prediction of chemotherapy-induced nausea. Supportive Care in Cancer, 18(7), 869-876. [More Information]
  • Boakes, R., Colagiuri, B., Mahon, M. (2010). Learned Avoidance of Flavors Signaling Reduction in a Nutrient. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 36(1), 117-125. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B. (2010). Participant expectancies in double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trials: potential limitations to trial validity. Clinical Trials, 7(3), 246-255. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Zachariae, R. (2010). Patient Expectancy and Post-chemotherapy Nausea: A Meta-analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 3-14. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Boakes, R. (2010). Perceived treatment, feedback, and placebo effects in double-blind RCTs: an experimental analysis. Psychopharmacology, 208(3), 433-441. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Morley, K., Boakes, R., Haber, P. (2009). Expectancy in double-blind placebo-controlled trials: an example from alcohol dependence. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 78(3), 167-171. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Roscoe, J., Morrow, G., Atkins, J., Giguere, J., Colman, L. (2008). How do patient expectancies, quality of life, and postchemotherapy nausea interrelate? Cancer, 113(3), 654-661. [More Information]

2016

  • Todd, J., Sharpe, L., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Attentional bias modification and pain: The role of sensory and affective stimuli. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 83, 53-61. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Livesey, E. (2016). Contextual cuing as a form of nonconscious learning: Theoretical and empirical analysis in large and very large samples. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, in press. [More Information]
  • Urroz, P., Colagiuri, B., Smith, C., Yeung, A., Cheema, B. (2016). Effect of acupuncture and instruction on physiological recovery from maximal exercise: A balanced-placebo controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Bezzina, L., Lee, J., Lovibond, P., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Extinction and renewal of cue-elicited reward-seeking. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 162-169. [More Information]
  • Mills, L., Boakes, R., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Placebo caffeine reduces withdrawal in abstinent coffee drinkers. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(4), 388-394. [More Information]
  • Quinn, V., Colagiuri, B. (2016). Sources of Placebo-Induced Relief From Nausea: The Role of Instruction and Conditioning. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78(3), 365-372. [More Information]
  • Tonin, R., Brett, J., Colagiuri, B. (2016). The effect of infrasound and negative expectations to adverse pathological symptoms from wind farms. Journal of Low Frequency Noise Vibration and Active Control, 35(1), 77-90. [More Information]
  • Todd, J., Sharpe, L., Colagiuri, B., Khatibi, A. (2016). The effect of threat on cognitive biases and pain outcomes: An eye-tracking study. European Journal of Pain, 20(8), 1357-1368. [More Information]

2015

  • Lovibond, P., Satkunarajah, M., Colagiuri, B. (2015). Extinction Can Reduce the Impact of Reward Cues on Reward-Seeking Behavior. Behavior Therapy, 46(4), 432-438. [More Information]
  • Quinn, V., MacDougall, H., Colagiuri, B. (2015). Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation: A new model of placebo-induced nausea. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78, 484-488. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P. (2015). How food cues can enhance and inhibit motivation to obtain and consume food. Appetite, 84, 79-87. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Quinn, V., Colloca, L. (2015). Nocebo Hyperalgesia, Partial Reinforcement, and Extinction. The Journal of Pain, 16(10), 995-1004. [More Information]
  • Quinn, V., Colagiuri, B. (2015). Placebo interventions for nausea: A systematic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(3), 449-462. [More Information]
  • Neukirch, N., Colagiuri, B. (2015). The placebo effect, sleep difficulty, and side effects: a balanced placebo model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38(2), 273-283. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Schenk, L., Kessler, M., Dorsey, S., Colloca, L. (2015). The placebo effect: From concepts to genes. Neuroscience, 307, 171-190. [More Information]
  • Todd, J., Sharpe, L., Johnson, A., Nicholson-Perry, K., Colagiuri, B., Dear, B. (2015). Towards a new model of attentional biases in the development, maintenance and management of pain. Pain, 156(9), 1589-1600. [More Information]

2014

  • Au Yeung, S., Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P., Colloca, L. (2014). Partial reinforcement, extinction, and placebo analgesia. Pain, 155(6), 1110-1117. [More Information]
  • Yeung, A., Kiat, H., Denniss, A., Cheema, B., Bensoussan, A., Machliss, B., Colagiuri, B., Chang, D. (2014). Randomised controlled trial of a 12 week yoga intervention on negative affective states, cardiovascular and cognitive function in post-cardiac rehabilitation patients. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14, 411-420. [More Information]

2013

  • Carmady, B., Smith, C., Colagiuri, B. (2013). A comparison of decision-making processes for conventional and complementary medicine in cancer patients. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 19, 32-35. [More Information]
  • Tang, C., Colagiuri, B. (2013). Can an educational handout enhance placebo analgesia for experimentally-induced pain? PloS One, 8(10), 1-6. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Dhillon, H., Butow, P., Jansen, J., Cox, K., Jacquet, J. (2013). Does Assessing Patients' Expectancies About Chemotherapy Side Effects Influence Their Occurrence? Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 46(2), 275-281. [More Information]
  • Urroz, P., Colagiuri, B., Smith, C., Cheema, B. (2013). Effect of Acute Acupuncture Treatment on Exercise Performance and Postexercise Recovery: A Systematic Review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(1), 9-16. [More Information]
  • Cheema, B., Houridis, A., Busch, L., Raschke-Cheema, V., Melville, G., Marshall, P., Chang, D., Machliss, B., Lonsdale, C., Bowman, J., Colagiuri, B. (2013). Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13, 1-10. [More Information]
  • Lovibond, P., Colagiuri, B. (2013). Facilitation of Voluntary Goal-Directed Action by Reward Cues. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2030-2037. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Lovibond, P. (2013). Psychological Processes that can Bias Responses to Placebo Treatment for Pain. In Luana Colloca, Magne A Flaten, Karin Meissner (Eds.), Placebo and Pain: From Bench to Bedside, (pp. 175-182). London: Academic Press.

2012

  • Colagiuri, B., King, M., Butow, P., McGrane, J., Luckett, T., Price, M., Birney, D. (2012). A comparison of the FACT-G and the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) in women with ovarian cancer: unidimensionality of constructs. Quality of Life Research, 21(5), 887-897. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Smith, C. (2012). A systematic review of the effect of expectancy on treatment responses to acupuncture. Evidence - Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1-12. [More Information]
  • Melville, G., Chang, D., Colagiuri, B., Marshall, P., Cheema, B. (2012). Fifteen minutes of chair-based yoga postures or guided meditation performed in the office can elicit a relaxation response. Evidence - Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1-9. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., McGuinness, K., Boakes, R., Butow, P. (2012). Warning about side effects can increase their occurrence: an experimental model using placebo treatment for sleep difficulty. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 26(12), 1540-1547. [More Information]

2011

  • Colagiuri, B., Livesey, E., Harris, J. (2011). Can expectancies produce placebo effects for implicit learning? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18(3), 399-405. [More Information]
  • Cheema, B., Marshall, P., Chang, D., Colagiuri, B., Machliss, B. (2011). Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 11(578), 1-5. [More Information]
  • Oguchi, M., Jansen, J., Butow, P., Colagiuri, B., Divine, R., Dhillon, H. (2011). Measuring the impact of nurse cue-response behaviour on cancer patients' emotional cues. Patient Education and Counseling, 82(2), 163-168. [More Information]
  • Cao, H., Hu, H., Colagiuri, B., Liu, J. (2011). Medicinal cupping therapy in 30 patients with fibromyalgia: A case series observation. Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 18(3), 122-126. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Christensen, S., Jensen, A., Price, M., Butow, P., Zachariae, R. (2011). Prevalence and predictors of sleep difficulty in a National Cohort of Women with Primary Breast Cancer Three to Four Months Postsurgery. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 42(5), 710-720. [More Information]

2010

  • Roscoe, J., Morrow, G., Colagiuri, B., Heckler, C., Pudlo, B., Colman, L., Hoelzer, K., Jacobs, A. (2010). Insight in the prediction of chemotherapy-induced nausea. Supportive Care in Cancer, 18(7), 869-876. [More Information]
  • Boakes, R., Colagiuri, B., Mahon, M. (2010). Learned Avoidance of Flavors Signaling Reduction in a Nutrient. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 36(1), 117-125. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B. (2010). Participant expectancies in double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trials: potential limitations to trial validity. Clinical Trials, 7(3), 246-255. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Zachariae, R. (2010). Patient Expectancy and Post-chemotherapy Nausea: A Meta-analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 3-14. [More Information]
  • Colagiuri, B., Boakes, R. (2010). Perceived treatment, feedback, and placebo effects in double-blind RCTs: an experimental analysis. Psychopharmacology, 208(3), 433-441. [More Information]

2009

  • Colagiuri, B., Morley, K., Boakes, R., Haber, P. (2009). Expectancy in double-blind placebo-controlled trials: an example from alcohol dependence. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 78(3), 167-171. [More Information]

2008

  • Colagiuri, B., Roscoe, J., Morrow, G., Atkins, J., Giguere, J., Colman, L. (2008). How do patient expectancies, quality of life, and postchemotherapy nausea interrelate? Cancer, 113(3), 654-661. [More Information]

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