Unformatted text preview: Pain
• Damage to skin, blood vessels, and small nerves cause the release of potassium ions,
stimulating pain receptors.
• Other chemicals are involved in this response, some of which are blocked by pain medications.
• Synesthesia: What might be called “cross-sensory perception.” The most common forms are letter-color and
number-color associations, where an individual experiences specific colors for specific letters or numbers
(but the colors are not consistent between synesthetes). Some might have sensations of color when hearing
certain sounds, or may perceive certain tastes as “round” or “pointed.” Synesthetes do not choose these
associations, nor do they simply imagine them, nor are they learned responses. The responses are
involuntary and remain consistent over time. Brain scans show that synesthetes who, for example,
associate colors with sounds, have activity in both the auditory and visual parts of the cortex. By contrast,
someone who is not synesthetic who imagines such associations does not show similar brain activity. Some
studies suggest all human infants are synasethetic, and that neural “pruning” that goes on in early
development sorts out the senses; thus synaesthesia might be the result of incomplete neural pruning.
Other studies suggest that this is not the case, so no one yet knows what causes the condition. Rarely is it
disabling. Most synesthetes find their condition useful and would rather not be “cured.”
• Many people strongly separate the ideas of “brain” and “mind,” and consider “brain” as something necessary
for physical things, while “mind” is what thinks and creates emotion. All functions associated with “mind” are
associated with activity in the brain. However, neural science is still very young and...
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This document was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course BIOLOGY 103 at Western Oregon University.
- Winter '09