Consciousness and how it got to be that way
Friday, April 12, 2013
An Objective Measurement of Pain
In medicine, pain is an often-overlooked vital sign, and it's very difficult to know the level of pain people are in (if any) based on their report - and that's the only way we have of doing it. That may be changing. An fMRI study of 114 people at U of Colorado showed >90% sensitivity and specificity for objective pain detection. Each subject was their own control, since they were subjected to painful and non-painful heat. The team was even capable of fairly reliably discriminating between social and physical pain.