Lecture 10 PAIN

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Chapter 11 - Pain
no class next week -- next week is optional review class
Humans are unique - can declare we are in pain and discomfort
Pain is a subjective experience - have total emotional experience as well
Suffering - predicting that we’re going to have a really bad experience - CBT can
be quite helpful (distract themselves from a particular reality)
The Significance of Pain
Although not enjoyable, the experience of pain serves important functions:
i. Produces withdrawal that prevents further injury
ii. Serves as basis of learning to avoid injurious objects/situations
iii. Sets limits on activity and enforces inactivity and/or rest
able to detect injury from pain and are then able to attend to it
Some individuals cannot experience pain whatsoever; do not ever tend to pain,
infections, etc, things fester for a very long period of time (these people die
Pain Perception
When contact with injurious stimuli occurs, signals follow a particular route
Nocioceptors of the afferent (sensory) neurons (PNS) respond to the stimuli
Generate impulses that travel to the CNS
nocioceptors - are able to detect that there is a real injury (tissue damage) -
afferent sensory neurons because information needs to go to the brain
Brain does not have nocioceptors
Nociceptors: Exist as free nerve endings.
nerve endings are not encapsulating by any tissue, can freely be exposed to the
environment (ex. tooth nerve that is exposed to the air - hurts a lot)
Nociceptors or Fiber Types
: Has thinly myelinated axons that carry thermal or mechanical nociception
and is associated with sharp or pricking pain (5 to 30 m/s).
C: Is a polymodal nociceptor that can be activated by high-intensity mechanical,
chemical, and heat (>45ºC). Slow conducting (0.5 to 2 m/s)
and : Are fibers normally involved in proprioception.
A Delta - fatty material and information can travel very quickly via these axons
C Fibers - slow conducting because they’re not myelinated - types of fibers can
keep you from reapplying your hand to something hot f
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Characteristics of Sensory Receptors in the Skin
Receptor Stimulus Sensation Adaptation
Merkel's disk Steady indentation Pressure Slow
Meissner's corpuscle Low frequency vibration Gentle fluttering Rapid
Ruffini's corpuscle Rapid indentation Stretch Slow
Pacinian corpuscle Vibration Vibration Rapid
Hair receptor Hair deflection Brushing Rapid or
a lot more to existence than meets the eye (ex. an entire light spectrum that we
can’t detect), we’re actually digital beings to some extent, experience the world
through an analogue perception
Gate control theory:
Leading pain theory; a few limitations
States that a gate-like mechanism in the spinal column’s dorsal horns…
Controls pain stimulation to the brain
Is affected by nerve fibres’ activity
Is opened/closed through central control trigger activity in spinal cord and brain
ventral horn - deals with motor activity
A fibres - sensory
Projection neurons - activated, allows information to go to spinal cord and then to
the brain (can then feel things)
Organization of the Anterolateral System
need to concentrate on far right column, specifically diagram labeled at the very
top slightly to the right
At the spinal cord level, controlling the nocioception, whether we feel something
bad is going on in the body
Theories of Pain
Gate theory posits that pain sensations:
Can be modified en route to the brain
Can be influenced by psychological factors
Neuromatrix theory:
Greater emphasis on brain’s role in pain perception neurosignature patterns
Origins can be innate or sensory
neuromatrix theory (most important to us as humans)
Perception is having the subjective experience that there is a body - now a
conscious phenomenon
Can experience pain originating in the body or something happening in the brain
making us think we’re feeling pain
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