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Posts Tagged "Pain"

Anthropology in Practice

The Ways We Talk About Pain

Excerpts from the Personal Journal of Krystal D’Costa [i] Tuesday: I fell. Again. This time it was while getting out of the car. I’m not sure how I managed it. I got my foot caught on the door jamb and tumbled forward. I hit my shin—hard—against the door jamb and I think I tweaked my [...]

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Bering in Mind

Who says love hurts? Romantic partners alter our perception of pain

man in frame

My mother used to say, “there’s somebody out there for everybody.” It sounds sweet, I know, but when you realize she would say this only in jaw-dropping astonishment at seeing a loving couple out in public in which both partners were, shall we say, aesthetically shortchanged in some eye-catching way, my dearly departed mother somehow [...]

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Illusion Chasers

‘Tis the season to be flossing: beware of dentistry illusions

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:First_visit_to_the_dentist.jpg

Researchers recommend that dentists and other health practitioners receive training in “illusion awareness” (my words, not theirs), so that they may counteract these and related perceptual effects.

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Illusion Chasers

The Color of Pain

blue arm

Want to know an effective way to reduce pain from burns? Cover the affected red area, so you are unable to look at it. Ideally, use a blue bandage.

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Illusion Chasers

Pain is an emotion

Dennis Rogers keeps two USAF planes from taking off with strength or with insensitivity to pain?

Our new column in Scientific American Mind is out today and it’s about the illusory nature of pain, and how pain perception and severity varies with mood and circumstances.

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Illusion Chasers

Neuroscience in Fiction: The Princess Bride

The_princess_bride_20th_anniversary_edition_dvd[1]

The novel is a wonderful read, but something that I hadn’t expected is that the plot would revolve so much around the topic of pain, both psychological and physical. As in death, torture, mutilation, and the loss of true love.

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Illusion Chasers

Neuroscience in Fiction: Fear and panic in Jaden and Will Smith’s “After Earth”

Jaden and Will Smith in a still from the trailer for After Earth

To what extent is fear hardwired in the brain? Behavioral therapies can successfully eliminate or reduce phobias to specific items or situations, but can one suppress fear in general?

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Not bad science

Emotional bees

Whether animals feel emotion, and are capable of suffering, is a question the answer to which has far-reaching implications. I recently read Victoria Braithwaite’s ‘Do Fish Feel Pain?’, a question that I didn’t worry about much until reading this book, but now bothers me a lot more. This book raised a number of quandaries I [...]

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Observations

Super-Toxic Snake Venom Could Yield New Painkillers

black mamba snake venom pain killer

A bite from the black mamba snake (Dendroaspis polylepis) can kill an adult human within 20 minutes. But mixed in with that toxic venom is a new natural class of compound that could be used to help develop new painkillers. Named “mambalgins,” these peptides block acute and inflammatory pain in mice as well as morphine [...]

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Observations

Phone Calls and Exercise Make Pain Treatments More Effective

woman on phone with pain

Chronic pain affects at least a fifth of the U.S. population, yet many of these people remain in significant physical discomfort whether they receive treatment or not. Even strong drugs, such as opioids, are often not up to the task, which is one of the reasons why researchers are looking to other avenues to treat [...]

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Observations

Your love is my drug: How passion sparks the same painkilling pathways as drugs

people in love feel less pain, works like painkiller drugs

Who says love hurts? New research shows that strong romantic feelings actually ease physical pain via the same neural pathways as powerful drugs. By simply gazing at a picture of their beloved, undergraduates in a recent study were able to substantially reduce their experience of pain. The effect occurs thanks to a boost in the [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Do Octopuses Feel Pain?

octopus pain

The past couple posts have described some pretty severe experiments on octopuses, including: showing how octopus arms can grow back after inflicted damage and how even severed octopus arms can react to stimuli. (For the record, animals in the studies were anesthetized and euthanized, respectively.) Without getting too far into the woods (or reefs) of [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

A Surefire Way to Sharpen Your Focus

peaceful scene, village by the water

How many times have you arrived someplace but had no memory of the trip there? Have you ever been sitting in an auditorium daydreaming, not registering what the people on stage are saying or playing? We often spin through our days lost in mental time travel, thinking about something from the past, or future, leaving [...]

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