Experience of pain relies on multiple brain pathways, not just one

A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder finds that when we use our thoughts to dull or enhance our experience of , the physical pain signal in the brain—sent by nerves in the area of a wound, for example, and encoded in multiple regions in the cerebrum—does not actually change. Instead the act of using thoughts to modulate pain, a technique called “cognitive self-regulation” that is commonly used to manage , works via a separate pathway in the brain.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS Biology this month, show that the processing of pain in our brains goes beyond the mere physical pain signal and underscore a growing understanding among neuroscientists that there is not a single pain system in the brain, as was once believed.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-01-pain-multiple-brain-pathways.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ctgr-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

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