Roots of Pain

Your article "Getting at the Molecular Roots of Pain"1 was adequate for introducing a very important topic: pain. The molecular origination for understanding and controlling pain, however, overlooks the most important aspects of pain. Pain is created by discrepancies in multiple channels of information. Pain can be psychological. Pain can be ignored due to lack of attention. Pain can be created by a simple picture2 in about 10 percent of people. It is well known that some soldiers wounded in co

Ronald Blue
Feb 14, 1999

Your article "Getting at the Molecular Roots of Pain"1 was adequate for introducing a very important topic: pain. The molecular origination for understanding and controlling pain, however, overlooks the most important aspects of pain. Pain is created by discrepancies in multiple channels of information. Pain can be psychological. Pain can be ignored due to lack of attention. Pain can be created by a simple picture2 in about 10 percent of people. It is well known that some soldiers wounded in combat report no pain, and in many cases do not even know they are wounded as they attack or defend themselves from attacks.

These observations can be understood from a correlational opponent processing system or an associational reciprocal inhibition system. Take, for example, the following quote from your article: "Although using capsaicin to eliminate pain might seem counterintuitive, Levine says it actually makes sense. Think about eating lots...

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