Navigation Links
Pain is in the eyes of the beholder
Date:11/25/2008

By manipulating the appearance of a chronically achy hand, researchers have found they could increase or decrease the pain and swelling in patients moving their symptomatic limbs. The findingsreported in the November 25th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publicationreveal a profound top-down effect of body image on body tissues, according to the researchers.

"The brain is capable of many wonderful things based on its perception of how the body is doing and the risks to which the body seems to be exposed," said G. Lorimer Moseley, who is now at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute in Australia. (The work was done at the University of Oxford.)

In the study, the researchers asked ten right-handed patients with chronic pain and dysfunction in one arm to watch their own arm while they performed a standardized set of ten hand movements. The participants repeated the movements under four conditions: with no visual manipulation, while looking through binoculars with no magnification, while looking through binoculars that doubled the apparent size of their arm, and while looking through inverted binoculars that reduced the apparent size of their arm.

While the patients' pain was always worse after movement than it was before, the extent to which the pain worsened depended on what people saw. Specifically, the pain increased more when participants viewed a magnified image of their arm during the movements, andperhaps more surprisinglythe pain became less when their arm was seen through inverted binoculars that minimized its size.

The degree of swelling too was less when people watched a "minified" image of their arm during movements than when they watched a magnified or normal image, the researchers reported.

They aren't yet sure how this phenomenon works at the level of neurons. However, the researchers said, a possible philosophical explanation comes from the notion that protective responsesincluding the experience of painare activated according to the brain's implicit perception of danger level. "If it looks bigger, it looks sorer and more swollen," Moseley said. "Therefore, the brain acts to protect it."

While he said the findings don't mean that pain is any less real, they may lead to a new therapeutic approach for reducing pain. His team is now testing visual manipulations as an analgesic strategy for use in clinical settings.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/28/2017)... February 28, 2017 News solutions for biometrics, ... ... from 14 to 16 March, Materna will present its ... how seamless travel is a real benefit for passengers. To ... to their passenger touch point solutions to take passengers through the ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 With the biometrics ... Research identifies four technologies that innovative and agile ... significant share in the changing competitive landscape: multifactor ... authentication.   "Companies can no longer ... security," says Dimitrios Pavlakis , Industry Analyst ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, ... that is designed to enhance fraud detection and ... in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. ... to leverage additional insights from internal and external ... better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/30/2017)... Rockville, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... March 30, 2017 ... ... specializing in oncology, vaccines/immunology and general medicine, recently announced the hiring of Bruce ... John Colby into the position of Associate Vice President, Proposals & Marketing. , ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... BALTIMORE , March 30, 2017 Personal Genome ... presentations at the upcoming American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) ... Washington , D.C.  The company also announced that ... recipients of the 11 th Annual AACR Team Science ... ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... Germany , March 29, 2017 QIAGEN ... STANDARD: QIA) today announced the U.S. launch of its ipsogen ... cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a qualitative in vitro ... extracted from EDTA whole blood.* ... ipsogen JAK2 assay is processed on QIAGEN,s Rotor-Gene ® Q MDx ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... announce that Nerium International Mexico has been approved as an active member of ... achieve satisfaction and protection among distributers and consumers in relationship marketing. This professional ...
Breaking Biology Technology: