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What does pain science have in common with other sensory science? 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham

Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Quite a lot. Todd Hargrove does some interesting and entertaining analogizing in this article, “Taste and pain.”

This also reminded me of something I learned from a recent episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage Podcast: that it’s backwards to think of vision of the result of the brain processing information delivered from the eyes, as tempting as that might be. What we’ve learned is that vision is fairly limited, but the brain is very talent and aggressive visualizer: most of what we “see” is basically inferred and made up, and then vision is used to very selectively check our work, to see how well our model matches reality. We don’t so much see as we imagine and then scan for discrepancies. This is a general principle that seems to be surprisingly applicable to all sensation, including pain.

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