learning no pain

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jun 7 00:39:31 EST 1998


You continue to amaze me.  I dimly recall the paradigm you describe
(and some related work), but my "source memory" is so impaired (frontal
lobe decline in old age?) that I'm not sure where/when; do know I first
heard of something like this from member of the audience at a NY
Academy of Sciences evening meeting 2-3 yrs ago, but THINK I read
something relevant to this a year or so later...


As I recall (but who knows from where or when) the phenomena were
interesting enough and the implications important enough to desrve
wider attention.


In <094c83553140668UPIMSSMTPUSR01 at email.msn.com> rcb5 at MSN.COM ("Ron
Blue") writes: 
>>I have read that some types of chronic pain can persist long
>>after there is no clear indication for it. It seems the body can
>>"learn" pain if given enough time to associate with it. Could the
>>below snip also explain this?
>>Ed Ergenzinger wrote in message <35741D3E.90C81D67 at bgsm.edu>...
>>>  In the somatosensory system perceptual anomalies such as
>>>phantom limb have been linked to reorganizational changes
>>>injury.  The association between phantom sensation and
>>>central maps would seem to indicate that while neurons can
>>acquire new receptive fields and become activated by input from
>>new portions of the body surface, the result of this activity is
>>interpreted as coming from old portions of the body surface.
>Pain is a discrepant signal on two or more channels that are
>incongruent.   Therefore pain can be learned, but it can also
>be removed by learning.
>Consider the case of a person with phantom limb pain
>who puts his good left arm on a table and his stub of
>his right arm on a table behind a mirror.  By carefully
>positioning the mirror so that it looks like the left arm is
>the right arm in the mirror some interesting events can
>be set up.
>Now both hands are moved together for 15 minutes
>but your visual attention is on the mirror right hand.
>((This effect can be created in normal people for hand displacement.))
>When the mirror is taken away the pain is significantly reduced.
>The last message into the brain is that the right arm is OK and the
>movements occured over a wide range of behaviors.
>The no pain state is now registered.
>Ron Blue

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