Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research: teaching the brain to reduce pain

10.07.2014

People can be conditioned to feel less pain when they hear a neutral sound, new research from the University of Luxembourg has found. This lends weight to the idea that we can learn to use mind-over-matter to beat pain. The scientific article was published recently in the online journal “PLOS One”.

Scientists have known for many years that on-going pain in one part of the body is reduced when a new pain is inflicted to another part of the body. This pain blocking is a physiological reaction by the nervous system to help the body deal with a potentially more relevant novel threat.

To explore this “pain inhibits pain” phenomenon, painful electric pulses were first administered to a subject’s foot (first pain) and the resulting pain intensity was then measured.

Then the subject was asked to put their hand in a bucket of ice water (novel stimulus causing pain reduction), and as they did so, a telephone ringtone sounded in headphones. After this procedure had been repeated several times, it was observed that the pain felt from the electrical stimulation was reduced simply when the ring tone sounded.

The brain had been conditioned to the ringtone being a signal to trigger the body’s physical pain blocking mechanism. The people being tested not only felt significantly less pain, but there were also fewer objective signs of pain, such as activity in the muscles used in the facial expression of pain (frowning). In total, 32 people were tested.

“We have shown that just as the physiological reaction of saliva secretion was provoked in Pavlov’s dogs by the ringing of a bell, an analogous effect occurs regarding the ability to mask pain in humans,” said Fernand Anton, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Luxembourg. “Conversely, similar learning effects may be involved in the enhancement and maintenance of pain in some patients,” added Raymonde Scheuren, lead researcher in this study.

Weitere Informationen:

http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/16824 - link to the full scientific article “Beep Tones Attenuate Pain following Pavlovian Conditioning of an Endogenous Pain Control Mechanism”
http://www.uni.lu - homepage of the University of Luxembourg

Britta Schlüter | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Psychology blocking inhibits pain phenomenon physiological procedure secretion stimulus

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Can Bariatric Surgery Lead to Severe Headache?
23.10.2014 | American Academy of Neurology

nachricht Even depressed people believe that life gets better
21.10.2014 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Comparing Apples and Oranges? A Colloquium on International Comparative Urban Research

22.10.2014 | Event News

Battery Conference April 2015 in Aachen

16.10.2014 | Event News

Experts discuss new developments in the field of stem cell research and cell therapy

10.10.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's TRMM Satellite Calculates Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo Rainfall

23.10.2014 | Earth Sciences

New 3D Display Technology Promises Greater Energy Efficiency

23.10.2014 | Power and Electrical Engineering

World population likely to peak by 2070

23.10.2014 | Social Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>