By William J. Cromie Gazette Staff. Date January 31, Scientists have found pain in the same brain circuits that give you pleasure. Working with Assistant Professor of Radiology Lino Becerra, Hans Brieter, and other colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, he heated the hands of eight volunteers enough to hurt, while they underwent brain scanning.
Pleasure and pain: Study shows brain's 'pleasure chemical' is involved in response to pain too
Pain and pleasure - Wikipedia
Some philosophers, such as Jeremy Bentham , Baruch Spinoza , and Descartes , have hypothesized that the feelings of pain or suffering and pleasure are part of a continuum. There is strong evidence of biological connections between the neurochemical pathways used for the perception of both pain and pleasure , as well as other psychological rewards. From a stimulus-response perspective, the perception of physical pain starts with the nociceptors , a type of physiological receptor that transmits neural signals to the brain when activated. These receptors are commonly found in the skin, membranes, deep fascias, mucosa, connective tissues of visceral organs, ligaments and articular capsules, muscles, tendons, periosteum, and arterial vessels. A neuroanatomical review of the pain pathway, "Afferent pain pathways" by Almeida, describes various specific nociceptive pathways of the spinal cord: spinothalamic tract , spinoreticular tract , spinomesencephalic tract, spinoparabrachial tract, spinohypothalamic tract, spinocervical tract, postsynaptic pathway of the spinal column.
Pain and pleasure
The relationship between pain and pleasure in human sexuality is as profound as it is complex. It is a polarity that lives in each of us and deserves our curiosity. Sadly, it is not unusual for us to close down to situations that we fear will bring pain and discomfort.
More recently, research has shown that certain drugs like cocaine and heroin amplify this effect - an action that may lie at the heart of drug addiction. Now, a new study from the University of Michigan adds a new twist to dopamine's fun-loving reputation: pain. Using sophisticated brain-scanning and a carefully controlled way of inducing muscle pain, the researchers show that the brain's dopamine system is highly active while someone experiences pain - and that this response varies between individuals in a way that relates directly to how the pain makes them feel. It's the first time that dopamine has been linked to pain response in humans.