Monday, July 10, 2017
MRI modeling shows how pain is all in the brain - NEUROSCIENCE
Pain is a signal of actual or potential damage to the body, so it is natural to think of it as a localized sensation: knee pain in the knee, back pain in the back and so on.
However, research has demonstrated that pain is an experience constructed in the brain. A knee doesn’t “feel” anything. Instead, it sends signals to the brain. Input from the body is important, but a person’s pain experience also depends on the brain’s interpretation of what the input signal means.
Scientists are just beginning to study these complex cerebral processes, and in a promising step forward, CU Boulder researchers have developed a functional MRI-based model that identifies brain activity patterns involved in varied pain experience, even when the input from the body is held constant.
“Pain is more than just a passive response to stimuli. The brain actively contributes to pain, constructing it through various neural systems,” said Choong-Wan Woo, lead author and a post-doctoral researcher in CU Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science when the research was completed. “Thus, we wanted to build a brain-based model to predict pain using variables beyond the painful stimuli.”
Source and further reading:http://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/02/14/mri-modeling-shows-how-pain-all-brain
Source: Corina Marinescu