My Pain, My Brain by Melanie Thernstrom gives us a look at a study being done at Stanford University. Subjects view an area of the brain that is involved in the perception of pain via a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and undergo training similar to biofeedback in which they practice directly controlling that part of the brain. Doing so can allow the subject to control the perception of chronic pain.
Thernstrom touches on several other interesting studies in the article, including Irene Tracy’s Oxford University study on the effects of distraction on chronic pain.
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