Thinking the Hurt Away: Expectations hitch ride on pain's brain pathway | Science News

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Thinking the Hurt Away: Expectations hitch ride on pain's brain pathway

By
9:36am, September 7, 2005

When it comes to pain control, a dose of positive thinking goes a long way, according to researchers who have found that many of the same brain areas that respond to severe pain also respond to mere expectations of pain. This commonality provides a neural route for the mind to quell pain and could explain the pain-fighting power of placebos, the scientists say.

"Pain emerges from the interaction between signals coming from an injured body region and cognitive information unique to each individual, such as expectations about what that pain will feel like," says neuroscientist Robert C. Coghill of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. He and his cowo

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