To Measure Pain – MIT x Hyperbole 1.5

To Measure Pain – MIT x Hyperbole 1.5

Pain. An endless source for schadenfreude humor, and a fertile ground for research.  Here are two equally-valid articles from about the web, from two of my favourite sources of asides.  Graphics courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half, and geekery from MIT’s Magazine Technology Review.

Question: can the MRI distinguish between levels 9 and 10?
TR article

“Pain has always been in the eye of the beholder.Doctors evaluating patients, as well as scientists studying pain, have had to rely on subjective descriptions, making pain notoriously difficult to measure and track. A new study from Stanford University takes a first step toward an objective measure for pain.

Researchers found that by pairing functional MRI (fMRI) with a machine-learning algorithm, they could detect specific patterns of brain activity that predicted whether someone was experiencing pain or not. The researchers hope to expand the tool to find brain signatures representing different levels and types of pain, a technology that might one day be useful in clinical practice, drug trials, and pain research.” via An Objective Way to Measure Pain – Technology Review.

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