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Adam Shriver: Do Human Lesion Studies Tell Us the Cortex is Required for Pain?

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2:00 PM, Jeudi 5 Juil 2018 (1 heure 30 minutes)
Adam Shriver (Speaker)
Professor Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

Fernanda Pérez Gay Juárez (Discussant)
Postdoctoral Fellow UQÀM & McGill

Patricia Bittar 
Writer, translator

Researchers often distinguish between nociception (damage detection) and pain, sometimes arguing that a response to noxious stimulation is either one or the other. The self-reports of people with cortical lesions, however, have shown that pain is a complex experience with multiple dimensions; different aspects of pain experience can be selectively impaired.  In rare cases, some humans, after lesions in certain parts of their cortex, report that they still feel pain but no longer find it unpleasant. These lesions play a similar role in other mammals, but many non-mammalian species who probably do feel pain lack these cortical areas.  Rather than telling us anything conclusive about the role of the cortex, these findings offer a unique opportunity to study the neural correlates of sentience and to better understand the capacity to feel pain in organisms who lack the cortical regions involved in human pain.  Website

Berthier, M., Starkstein, S., & Leiguarda, R. (1988). Asymbolia for pain: A sensory-\limbic disconnection syndrome. Annals of Neurology, 24(1), 41-49.

Feinstein, Justin S., et al. (2016) Preserved emotional awareness of pain in a patient with extensive bilateral damage to the insula, anterior cingulate, and amygdalaBrain Structure and Function 221.3: 1499-1511.

Grahek, Nikola (2007]) Feeling Pain and Being in Pain (2nd edition), MIT Press.

Shriver, A. J. (2016). Cortex necessary for pain -- but not in sense that matters. Animal Sentience 1(3).

Adam Shriver


Patricia Bittar


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