Visually-induced analgesia: Seeing the body reduces pain

Speaker: Matthew Longo
Date: Thursday 20 March 2014 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Venue: Senate House, Senate House, WC1E 7HU
See all events at: Senate House

Room 246

In this talk, I will discuss work my colleagues and I have been conducting investigating the perceptual consequences of vision of one’s own body. In particular, I will focus on our finding that seeing the body is analgesia for acute pain, reducing the perceived intensity of pain and associated neural responses. I will discuss evidence that this effect may be due to visually-induced modulation of inhibitory interneuron activity in somatosensory cortex. Finally, I will also discuss some recent work demonstrating a wider set of perceptual and autonomic consequences of vision of the body. Vision of the body appears to modulate a constellation of perceptual and neural processes similar to those affected in chronic pain, though in the opposite direction.