Interoception and pain – is it better to be ignorant?

I just read a fascinating paper by Pollatos and colleagues[1] in a recent issue of Pain. This paper evaluated the relationship between interoception (ie, the ability to consciously perceive signals from the body) and pain perception. This study was based on the theory that emotive stimuli initiate changes in physiological and bodily processes and … [Read more...]

Beyond the colour of my skin

Our sense of our body is the foundation of our subjectivity, and our understanding of the subjectivity of others.  Through the mapping of other people’s actions, sensations (i.e. touch, pain) and expressions onto our own sensorimotor neural systems we are able to recognise them as, like ourselves, possessing of subjective experience. However our … [Read more...]

Healing Hands MIRAGEs and illusions

Around this time last year, our research at The University of Nottingham unexpectedly stumbled into the media spotlight: “Mind tricks may help arthritic pain; Illusions can halve the pain of osteoarthritis” the headlines read. See the original BBC news article complete with video here. They were referring to our MIRAGE multisensory illusions … [Read more...]

My back has shrunk – The influence of cupping therapy on body image

My Ph.D. research investigated the effect of cupping therapy in the treatment of chronic non-specific neck pain [1-3]. Besides pain and well-being we followed the approach by Moseley, 2008 [4] who found that patients with chronic low back pain showed body image distortions. His patients were unable to designate their whole bodily contours and there … [Read more...]

More on body awareness and chronic pain

Evidence has been accumulating that shows that people with chronic pain have modifications in body awareness. For example patients suffering from CRPS express feelings of foreignness towards their painful body part, distorted sense of size and shape, and difficulty determining the position of the affected limb (e.g., Lewis, Kersten, McCabe, … [Read more...]

A haptic glove and a head-tracking software – illusory ownership induced without touch

Our last rubber hand illusion paper attracted this comment from one of the reviewers: ‘it would take something very special to get yet another study on the rubber hand illusion into a journal like this one’. We were pretty sympathetic to the reviewer because there really are a tonne of them out there.  Here is one that was actually published a year … [Read more...]

How should we measure body awareness?

Here at BiM, we do a bit of research that investigates what we call ‘bodily awareness’. We have incorporated some of that research into a recent review paper on bodily illusions in health and disease. Humbly speaking, that is worth a read if you are interested in the bodily illusions stuff like the rubber hand illusion and the use of vision to … [Read more...]