August 25, 2004

Hurt me

Not exactly a shocking result, but interesting nonetheless:

The perception of pain is influenced by many factors, some of which have nothing to do with the physical stimulus itself, as anyone who has feared a trip to the dentist can attest. In this issue Salomons et al. used fMRI to examine how perceived control of a painful stimulus changes the perception of pain. During brain imaging, subjects used a joystick that they were told could reduce the duration of a painful thermal stimulus. However, this control was illusory because the physical stimulus remained constant. Nonetheless most subjects reported that they had reduced the length of the painful stimulus under the "controllable" condition.
What I want to know is who would sign up for a test advertised as testing response to "painful thermal stimulus"? I hope the money was good.
Read the abstract Read the paper if you have a subscription to the Journal of Neuroscience.

Posted at 2:08 pm | 0 comments


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