Gabriel David Fields

Gabriel David Fields

Scholar Title

Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Designing Placebo with Multisensory Stimulus and Targeted Memory Reactivation





Research Areas
  • Human Computer Interaction

Patricia Maes


The rise of immersive media and small wearable electronics has made it easier than ever to manipulate the senses. The goal of this project is to explore the capabilities of these new technologies in inducing the placebo effect, making a change in people’ s mental states without the use of medication. We plan to test the effectiveness of immersive, interactive virtual reality experiences with olfactory and gustatory stimuli as a means of controlling and enhancing the placebo effect, possibly using targeted memory reactivation to consolidate these experiences. We also intend to examine the relationship between whether or not a user has control over these experiences and their overall effectiveness.


“I’m excited to get a taste of real Media Lab research, and delve more deeply into the topics and questions I’ve been interested in at MIT. If this can spin into a larger project, that would be great!”

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