With a click and a whirr, I am pulled into the scanner. My head is strapped down and I have been draped with a blanket so that I may touch my nether regions — my clitoris in particular — with a certain degree of modesty. I am here neither for a medical procedure nor an adult movie. Rather, I am about to stimulate myself to orgasm while an fMRI scanner tracks the blood flow in my brain. My actions are helping Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and colleagues to tease apart the mechanisms underlying sexual arousal. In doing so, not only have they discovered that there is more than one route to orgasm, but they may also have revealed a novel type of consciousness — an understanding of which could lead to new treatments for pain.
Tag Archives | Pain
From Tiffany Sharples via TIME:
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There is a certain four-letter word that evokes much emotion, is often uttered by mothers giving birth, and whose usage by humans is thought to be evolutionarily adaptive: f___!
According to a new study by British researchers, saying the F word or any other commonly used expletive can work to reduce physical pain — and it seems that people may use curse words by instinct. Indeed, as any owner of a banged shin, whacked funny bone or stubbed toe knows, dancing the agony jig — and shouting its profane theme tune — are about as automatic as the response to a doctor’s reflex hammer. (See 20 ways to get healthy and stay that way.)
To figure out why, psychologists at Britain’s Keele University recruited 64 college students and asked them to stick their hands in a bucket of ice water and endure the pain for several minutes.
You have to imagine the big pharmaceutical companies are freaking out over this new study. Or perhaps coming up with drugs to induce a meditative state (but with a ton of side effects). Anne Harding reports for CNN:
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You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to experience the health benefits of meditation. According to a new study, even a brief crash course in meditative techniques can sharply reduce a person’s sensitivity to pain.
In the study, researchers mildly burned 15 men and women in a lab on two separate occasions, before and after the volunteers attended four 20-minute meditation training sessions over the course of four days. During the second go-round, when the participants were instructed to meditate, they rated the exact same pain stimulus — a 120-degree heat on their calves — as being 57 percent less unpleasant and 40 percent less intense, on average.
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Lent in the Christian tradition is a time of sacrifice and penance. It also is a period of purification and enlightenment. Pain purifies. It atones for sin and cleanses the soul. Or at least that’s the idea. Theological questions aside, can self-inflicted pain really alleviate the guilt associated with immoral acts?
A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores the psychological consequences of experiencing bodily pain.
Psychological scientist Brock Bastian of the University of Queensland, Australia and his colleagues recruited a group of young men and women under the guise they were part of a study of mental and physical acuity. Under this pretense, they asked them to write short essays about a time in their lives when they had ostracized someone; this memory of being unkind was intended to prime their personal sense of immorality — and make them feel guilty.
Since the advent of our nation's pastime, there has been a longstanding tradition of the fan who thinks it will be just HILARIOUS to jump onto a baseball diamond and get his or her 15 minutes of fame before getting tackled by security guards. On Monday, 17-year-old Steve Consalvi decided to do just that during a Philadelphia Phillies game. Except this time, the overzealous fan who told his dad he was looking for a "once in a lifetime experience" got a little more than he bargained for: he got Tasered. It's the first time a Taser has been used to stop a spectator who's running on the field.
The kid's OK, and now the Phillies and Philadelphia police are investigating whether the officer's use of the Taser was appropriate...