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What is Pain?

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What is Pain?

Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:11 pm

If you think aobut it, what is pain? Physical pain of course. The thing you feel when you get burned or something. This could lead to what physical feelings are...
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Postby Lex » Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:05 pm

I would say that physical pain is a negative feedback system that evolved in order to protect organisms from things that cause them harm. Pleasurable sensations, e.g. the taste of food, would then be the positive feedback counterpart that encourages organisms to do things that are good for them. The cause of another pleasurable sensation, which I hope I need not elaborate on, does not benefit the individual organism that is experiencing it, but also has an obvious evolutionary advantage.
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Postby Bert » Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:43 am

Lex wrote: Pleasurable sensations, e.g. the taste of food, would then be the positive feedback counterpart that encourages organisms to do things that are good for them.

You mean, eat chocolate and ice cream instead of liver and onions :D
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Postby Lex » Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:52 am

Bert wrote:You mean, eat chocolate and ice cream instead of liver and onions :D


Well, I'm one of those strange carnivorous llamas that happen to like liver. I recommend finding a really good Arabic restaurant, and trying the chicken liver sauteed in garlic with houmous and a nice strong Arabic coffee. Sauteed domestic rabbit liver is also very tasty. I've never had wild rabbit liver; it might be a bit gamey.

But in modern societies where iron and protein aren't at a premium, I suppose chocolate and ice cream would do just as well.
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Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:54 pm

When you cut yourself lets say on the arm, a pattern of electrons surges up through the nervous system and into the brain. Here, the brain interprets this pattern and decides what to do next. The natural reaction would be to retreat from the pain. This is quite understandable from a scientific perspective. But is this all physical feelings are? You see. The patterns of electrons go to our brain but we feel the pain on our arms or what ever part of the body. The nerves don't interpret anything at all, the brain does. So why doesn't pain go to the brain?
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Postby Lex » Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:20 am

Jung He Fah Toy wrote:The nerves don't interpret anything at all, the brain does. So why doesn't pain go to the brain?


I'm assuming that you are asking why you don't subjectively feel pain in your head instead of in the part that had the nerve endings that were activated. Because then you wouldn't know which part of your body was being damaged. For instance, say you touch a hot stove with your hand. You subjectively feel pain in the hand, not in your brain, so you know that your hand is the part of your body that is being damaged. This is good, since this tells you which part of your body to move out of harm's way. Otherwise, you'd know that you were in pain, but wouldn't be sure how to get out of it. This would not be as advantageous, from an evolutionary point of view.
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Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:45 pm

What but would happen if someone struck you from behind? You wouldn't see it coming!
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Postby benissimus » Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:16 am

You would still feel it, wouldn't you? (Unless he knocked you right out of course)
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Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:11 pm

But why does your back feel it not your brain. Your brain understnads where the signal is coming from, but does that really make a difference? Is pain something triggered by the brain? "Hey elbow, hurt!" Again its for every physical feeling.
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Postby Barrius » Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:35 pm

Jung He Fah Toy wrote:But why does your back feel it not your brain. Your brain understnads where the signal is coming from, but does that really make a difference? Is pain something triggered by the brain? "Hey elbow, hurt!" Again its for every physical feeling.


Why do amputees feel "phantom" pain in the missing limb? I would think that the brain is responsible for telling the back that it hurts.

But what is pain? Pain is having to work when you could be fishing ....
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Postby benissimus » Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:49 am

I agree with Barrius. How do you know that it isn't your brain causing the pain and it is interpreting it as happening on your elbow or whatever place? Because your brain controls your interpretations, it can cause you to believe anything.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:01 am

If this is true, and if I have some mental illness, then if somebody struck me in the back, I could feel it in my shoulder. My brain would tell the wrong body part to feel pain. Would you agree that this is possible if the brain tells certain parts of the body to feel pain?
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Postby benissimus » Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:32 am

I'm pretty sure that is possible, though I do not know of any condition that results in this effect.
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Postby Lex » Thu Apr 15, 2004 5:47 pm

threewood14 wrote:If this is true, and if I have some mental illness, then if somebody struck me in the back, I could feel it in my shoulder. My brain would tell the wrong body part to feel pain.


Supposedly, some people on LSD report that they can hear colors and see flavors, etc. If sensory input can be that badly scrambled, I don't see a change of location of pain as such a big thing.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:45 pm

So without a brain, we cannot feel anything...
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Postby Mongoose42 » Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:58 pm

Pain is truly an illusion. Something happens to your hand and a series of eletrical and chemical signals notify the brain. The brain translates the signal and notifies some part of us that is the higher consciousness that the hand is feeling pain. Because we do not have a map of our body in front of us at all times that can give a readout of pain locations, the brain gives the illusion of the pain coming from the hand. It is similar to feeling a wieght push against your body. You brain says that the weight is heavy because of the force against you. However, in reality all you can feel is the equal and opposite force being exerted by your body on the weight. Any occurences of physical reactions in a wounded hand are not pain, but automatic reflexes controlled by nerves and not the brain. Thus pain can be nullified by by removing the nerve endings, stopping the signals (the work of many morphine type drugs), or in theory by ignoring the pain. This also accounts for the phantom limbs which are nothing more than mental projections of the brain.
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Postby threewood14 » Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:14 pm

I see. This is what I thought.
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Postby Apotheosis » Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:12 pm

Supposedly, some people on LSD report that they can hear colors and see flavors, etc.


Actually Lex, you've brought up an interesting topic. There is actually a rare disorder that occurs in some people called synesthesia, or mixed sensations. People who have synesthesia still function perfectly normally and lead happy, healthy everyday lives. However, there is one catch. All of the synesthete's senses are scrambled creating an effect very similar to what you described. For instance, if someone who has synesthesia touches a rough surface, he or she might see bright green triangles. Or, if he or she tastes something sweet, he or she might hear a very high pitched noise. The funny thing about synesthesia is that all of the sensory devices are present, but the actual connections inside the brain are not in the right place. However, the remarkable thing about people with synesthesia is that they can still function just as well as you and I can. They may still rely heavily on their eyes to see where they are going, as we normal people do, but they won't be seeing what we are seeing. Instead they might get a funny taste in their mouth. I remember one time I read something online about a particular person who had synesthesia. This person evidently was having some tooth problems, so she went to the dentist. She did not know which tooth was giving her the pain, so she asked the dentist to find it. So the dentist touched the first tooth. The synesthete saw the color green and replied no, that's not it. So the dentist went to the next one. The synesthete saw the color green again and said to move on. The dentist then went to the next tooth, and all of a sudden the synesthete saw a bright orange and said that's the one! That's the tooth that hurts! Sure enough, when the dentist examined the tooth and took x-rays, he found out that there was a cavity in that tooth! He then gave the woman (the person with synesthesia) a filling and the color orange turned into green once the filling had been successfully implanted into the tooth.

Anyways, long story short, if a person has synesthesia, all of his or her nerve connections and sensory connections are completely active, but just swapped with one another. The person can still comprehend concepts and ideas and convey messages just like anyone else, but they do it in a different way. A synesthete's higher conscience still understands input and can formulate ideas perfectly normally. Pretty nifty huh?
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Postby Barrius » Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:34 pm

Apotheosis wrote:The dentist then went to the next tooth, and all of a sudden the synesthete saw a bright orange and said that's the one! That's the tooth that hurts!


Amazing! But just out of curiousity, is this akin to someone seeing "stars" when they get hit on the head :mrgreen:
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Postby threewood14 » Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:43 pm

lol
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Postby Apotheosis » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:06 pm

Hahaha...I don't think so Barrius. 8)
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Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:49 pm

Me neither
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:49 pm

studying helps you in the short term. so study a day or 3 before the test. that is why i study. of course you may forget comma rules 15 years from then, but the truth is that studying helped u get an A on your test. studying for tests does not mean also studying for your 15 years in the future. it mean studying for your test and your test only.

i just had to comment about
The more you study the more you know. The more you know the more you forget. The more you forget the less you know. So why study?

The less you study the less you know. The less you know the less you forget. The less you forget the more you know. So why study?
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Postby Apotheosis » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:03 am

Hehehe...what you said is true, however that statement meant something different. Here is what it was implying:

If you study more you know more.

If you know more then you can forget more because the amount of knowledge you have is that much bigger.

If you can forget more then you can know less.

If you can know less by studying, and knowing more is what's important, then why should you study?

To better explain what I'm talking about, please refer to the equations below:

*Note: assume that x is a number greater than 0*

Knowledge of a person = x

Amount of knowledge that can be forgotten = x

Knowledge of a person after studying = x+1

Amount of knowledge that can be forgotten after studying = x+1

Knowledge after forgetting the amound of knowledge that can be forgotten after studying = (x+1) - (x+1) ----> 0

Here is the converse:

*Note: assume that x is a number greater than 0*

Knowledge of a person = x

Amount of knowledge that can be forgotten = x

Knowledge of a person after not studying = x

Amount of knowledge that can be forgotten after not studying = x

Amount of knowledge that can be forgotten after studying = x+1

x < x+1

Conclusion: Less knowledge can be forgotten if you do not study, thus by refraining from studying you can know more. Hence, my signature. 8)

Have a nice day.
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Postby threewood14 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:25 pm

But I think the only reason for studying would be to study for a test or study a book so you do remember the material like you and I do. I do not think that we will forget all the things we've read in a Breif History of Time and the Universe in a nutshell if we studyied it realy hard and got every concept etc...It also depends on how much you study. People do not take college courses just to forget what they have learned. THey take it for life. Of course they have potential to forget that material, but they excersise it almost everyday and usually dont forget.
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Postby Apotheosis » Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:49 pm

You may be correct; however, you're missing the point of the statement. It was merely using logic and the Dialectical method to reach a valid conclusion. It wasn't about studying for a test...
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Postby threewood14 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:22 pm

i know jsut messin
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