Cerebrum: Finding the hurt in pain

23rd Jan 2017

Pain is unique to every person, and difficult to quantify and treat. Whether it is delivered as a jolt or a persistent, dull ache, pain is guaranteed to affect one’s quality of life. Cerebrum's author and BNA council member, Irene Tracey, examines how brain imaging is opening our eyes to the richness and complexity of the pain experience, giving us extraordinary insight into the neurochemistry, network activity, wiring, and structures relevant to producing and modulating painful experiences in all their various guises.

The article talks about how pain is key for survival in evolutionary terms and rare genetic conditions like congenital insensitivity to pain which makes the task of feeling and acting towards pain very difficult. She then goes on to talk about how to infer pain signals, and that pain is unique to each individual and their injury. In the latter half of the article, Irene writes about what neuroimaging has done for understanding pain in the brain, and the links between pain and mood. She ends the article with a quick review about the benefits and disadvantages of brain reading, and what future research has in store.

To read the full article, please head to the Dana website


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