Thursday, November 2, 2017

Unpleasant illusion

The thermal grill illusion conducted by neuroscientist Fredrik Lindstedt is an attempt to further understand the allodynia disorders where people experience pain when exposed to normal levels of cold. When people without the disorder are exposed to frankfurters where half of them are warmed in a microwave while the other half is cooled in a fridge, then lined up in a warm-cool-warm-cool pattern, people experience a burning pain on the hand they touch it with. Lindstedt was curious as to why people experience the odd stimulus, therefore conducted the same experiment while the people were in a fMRI scanner, only except with silver instead of magnetic frankfurters. He discovered that the participants had a "busy thalamus" just like people who suffered from cold allodynia. Lindstedt plans to repeat the experiment, but on people with the disorder in order to find if they describe the same pain as the illusion group did. If they describe the same pain it could "reveal where and how the brain transforms feelings of temperature into pain" which could lead to a cure. 
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