Pain on the Brain

Men and women experience pain in different ways, a new study shows. The behavior of opioids – chemicals that suppress pain – differs between men’s and women’s bodies. This is because the three main types of opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord interact very differently, depending on whether their owner is a man or a woman. See, scientists have known for years that certain kinds of narcotic analgesics – a certain class of pain relieving drugs – are much more effective on women then on men. It was hard to understand why, though, because both men and women have mu (MOR),…

Pain and Transcendence

New research has begun unveiling the neurophysiological correlates of the benefits brought on by techniques like meditation. This side of neurophysiology is exploring a few related avenues. One of these is the study published in the journal Zygon, which analyzes cerebral functional changes associated with religious sensations such as “out-of-body” experiences (OBEs). As it turns out, people who meditate to reach an OBE feeling share some intriguing aspects of brain function with patients who have undergone certain types of cerebral traumas. In particular, the left temporal lobe shows more activity – while activity decreases in the right temporal and parietal lobes, which are known for maintaining self/other…