Pain at your finger tips

Here, Gian Domenico Alessandro Magnifico Fantistico Iannetti and Flavia Eleganta Bellisima Mancini talk us through pain at your fingertips. They did a very groovy experiment that, for the first time, uncovered the pattern of receptive fields for nociception at the finger tips. Their results are remarkable insofar as they show that what we have long presumed about receptive fields and the specificity of the nociceptive pathways to pain, may need to be revisited.  Check out their video (and Italian style) here.


Mancini F, Sambo CF, Ramirez JD, Bennett DL, Haggard P, & Iannetti GD (2013). A fovea for pain at the fingertips. Current biology : CB, 23 (6), 496-500 PMID: 23477726


  1. Bit harsh? Shouldnt we be intrigued by the accuracy of the fingertip nociceptive / pain with a lesser density of receptors? Counter-intuitive isnt it unless it is in the coding or even the recruitment of alternative pathways to enhance spatial localisation

  2. You could say that this is a “most unfortunate trivialisation”

  3. But they talk about pain receptors and pain fibres, so it’s confusing!

    Rachael Sheat Reply:

    I agree Betsan. If we want to influence this global paradigm shift then surely language is important…I think Allan Cyna would agree?
    And my question relates to two-point discrimination does this research influence the way us as clinicans address this issue in chronic pain??