Understanding Pain: Cultural, Neuro, Philosophical Perspectives (Roundup)

I’ve come across a lot of interesting material about pain –how we process our own pain experiences as all as those of others – and now the topic is so sadly present in the news. Here’s a quick roundup to keep track of some of the issues being considered/discussed/investigated, e.g., our “deep,” or embodied, ability to simulate others’ pain; the neural overlap between physical and social pain experiences; the frequent (clinical) cultural de-medicalization of patients’ descriptions of pain; and the tensions or paradox of pain experiences (from a philosophical perspective). Overall, we have an extraordinary capacity to feel others pain and to lighten it; it’s likely that our best selves emerge in this process. Continue reading

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Lessons from Autism Spectrum Disorders – Early Identification of Autism, Mirror Neurons (CARTA videos)

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CARTA (Center for Research and Anthropogeny) has a great collection of videos from their 10/5/12 symposium: Human Origins – Lessons from Autism Spectrum Disorders. The symposium featured Daniel Geschwind, Eric Courchesne, Andrew Meltzoff, Simon Baron-Cohen, and Bernard Crespi. Continue reading