Psychology Paper on Pain

Topics: Nervous system, Pain, Brain Pages: 3 (1034 words) Published: December 5, 2010

Veronica Tran
Essay #1
Psy 1 (#48954)

Everyone everywhere will experience pain; whether it is everyday or once a week. Paper cuts, pinches, or even simply jamming your fingers between your door, are all painful accidents. Pain is the undesirable feeling; the red alert which signals our attention to something unfavorable happening to our bodies. Our bodies can detect pain by nocioceptors. Nocioceptors are special nerve receptors designed for stimuli that are encountered as painful (Benjamin B. Lahey, 2009).

There are two significant pathways these neural pain messages travel to our brain; fast and slow. The fast and slow pathways are the reason why our bodies endure pain at different times. The first experience would be a noticeable short pain, and realization of what’s going on. The second experience is an extended painful sensation. An example of the pathways combined would be dropping a 15lb weight on your foot. First sensation would quickly make u move that weight off and then stare at your foot. The second would make you land on the floor holding your foot while screaming.

We experience these divided painful sensations for two reasons. Both experiences are on two different paths with two different speeds to our brains. The neurons are thicker, covered in myelin in the fast path making the movement quick. The slow pathway consists of smaller neurons, no myelin, and in result makes the transmission slow. Reason number two, both pathways go through different parts in our brains. The fast neural pathway moves through our thalamus and to the matosensory area. The matosensory area is located in the parietal lobe of the brains cerebral cortex. It receives and translates the sensory information from our skin and body. Which is how we are capable of locating where and what is happening to our bodies. The matosensory area locates the action but is not responsible for our emotional reactions to pain. Information moving on the...

References: Benjamin, B., Lahey, (2009). Sensation and Perception, Psychology an introduction
Timothy Moynihan, (2010). Cancer Pain: Relief is possible. Retrieved from
Harvey Diamond, (2005). Methods of Dealing with pain. Retrieved from
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