Latest Issue of Science News


News

Brain Training Puts Big Hurt on Intense Pain: Volunteers learn to translate imaging data into neural-control tool

Preliminary evidence indicates that people can quell either temporary or chronic physical pain by learning to use their minds to reduce activity in a key brain area.

Brain-imaging technology now enables individuals to use mental exercises to control a neural region that contributes to pain perception, say neuroscientist Sean C. Mackey of Stanford University and his colleagues.

Both healthy volunteers and chronic-pain patients "learned to control their brains and, through that, their pain," Mackey holds. "However, significantly more testing must be done before this can be considered a treatment for chronic pain."

The new findings appear in the Dec. 20 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.