Pleasure, pain, and the brain

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/44/17993.abstract

Placebo effects illustrate the power of the human brain; simply expecting an improvement can alter pain processing and produce analgesia. We induced placebo improvement of both negative and positive feelings (painful and pleasant touch) in healthy humans, and compared the brain processing using functional MRI. Pain reduction dampened sensory processing in the brain, whereas increased touch pleasantness increased sensory processing. Neurocircuitry associated with emotion and reward underpinned improvement of both pain and pleasant touch. Our findings suggest that expectation of improvement can recruit common neurocircuitry, which up- or down-regulates sensory processing, depending on whether the starting point is painful or pleasant. These results promote widening the scope of medical research to improvement of positive experiences and pleasure.

2 thoughts on “Pleasure, pain, and the brain

  1. I’ve never heard this song before and I absolutely LOVE it! I could listen to it all day long! (You know, if I didn’t have Verizon Wireless and feared going over my digital limit.)

    Like

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s