Mapping Pain in the Brain – CU Scientist Tor Wager

Brain Pain Signature


  1. Climate Change Accelerates Changing Climate Zones – CU-Boulder and CIRES Scientist Irina Mahlstein (starts at 1:00)
  2. Family Dogs Harber Family Microbes – CU Boulder Scientist Rob Knight (and the American Gut Project) (starts at 2:26)
  3. Sound from the Big Bang – from John G. Cramer (starts at 4:45)

Mapping Pain in the Brain (starts at 7:30 )

If you hit your thumb with a hammer, you feel physical pain.  Terrible sunburn? Pain.  A muscle cramp?  Pain.  In each case, you know it’s pain.  But how a body senses this pain has been elusive.  Surgeons have tried to cut out what they think of as the brain’s pain center.  This often doesn’t work, and it has side effects.  Painkilling drugs?  Sometimes they help, sometimes they cause addiction.  Understanding the brain’s pain circuits might help scientists find better ways to deal with pain.  Last week, CU-Boulder researchers took a step in that direction by publishing a magnetic resonance imaging  map that they believe shows the signature of physical pain response within the brain.  The lead researcher on this project is Tor Wager.  Wager is the director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Chip Grandits
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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