October 5, 2022

Nostalgia Pain Relief: Viewing Images From Childhood Reduces Pain Perception

Nostalgia, a nostalgic yearning for ones past, is an uncomfortable, mainly positive but maybe bittersweet social feeling. When combating the unfavorable impact of difficult scenarios, fond memories assists us keep a favorable psychological status. The adaptive functions of nostalgia are many, with one effect being discomfort relief.
In the current study, a nostalgia-related practical MRI paradigm (i.e., nostalgia vs. control cues when individuals were seeing images) was combined with heat-pain stimulation (i.e., low heat vs. high heat when individuals were feeling discomfort) to analyze how brain reactions elicited by pain stimulation were modulated after individuals experienced classic emotion.
The model of thalamus-centered pathways affected by the analgesic effect associated with fond memories. Credit: Institute of Psychology
After observing triggers of youth memories, individuals reported experiencing weaker feelings of discomfort in reaction to the thermal stimuli, especially at low stimulus strengths.
Most notably, the anterior thalamus encoded fond memories, and the posterior parietal thalamus encoded pain understanding. Anterior thalamic activation can forecast posterior parietal thalamus activation. “The thalamus plays an essential function as a main functional linkage in the analgesic result,” said Dr. ZHANG Ming, very first author of the research study.
When people were looking at photos, the strength of the fond memories they experienced was likewise strongly associated with connectivity in between the thalamus and the periaqueductal gray (PAG), a location of noodle found in the midbrain. In this situation, coupling between PAG and the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex anticipated discomfort perception when people were feeling pain. This suggests that the thalamus regulates nociceptive inputs and plays an essential role in triggering the brain-stem analgesic pathway.
Often individuals experience mild medical pain thats uncomfortable, but not sufficient to need medication. In these cases, non-drug analgesic pain relief techniques can be practical or perhaps essential.
This study sheds light on the neural mechanisms underlying nostalgia-induced pain relief, providing unique insights into the more development and enhancement of non-drug, psychological analgesia.
Referral: “Thalamocortical systems for nostalgia-induced analgesia” 28 February 2022, JNeurosci.DOI: 10.1523/ JNEUROSCI.2123-21.2022.
This work was published in the Journal of Neuroscience on February 28 and was moneyed by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Social Science Fund of China.

Ever seen that looking at images of great times with friend or family diminishes the pain of your headache? Fond memories has actually already been shown to be helpful with discomfort relief, and a new research study has actually now revealed the thalamocortical mechanism for nostalgia-induced analgesia.
Led by Dr. KONG Yazhuo from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the research study team discovered that the thalamus, a vital brain area for pain modulation, is likewise related to the analgesic impact associated with nostalgia.

The adaptive functions of fond memories are many, with one impact being discomfort relief.
Most notably, the anterior thalamus encoded fond memories, and the posterior parietal thalamus encoded pain perception. When people were looking at images, the strength of the fond memories they experienced was likewise strongly associated with connection between the thalamus and the periaqueductal gray (PAG), an area of gray matter discovered in the midbrain. In this situation, coupling between PAG and the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex predicted pain understanding when individuals were feeling pain.

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