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科学:锁定特定的脑细胞 可以消除疼痛?

kira86 于2019-03-06发布 l 已有人浏览
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痛起来要人命?科学家已经找到了一组将疼痛由感官体验编码为情绪体验的神经元,只要锁定这组神经元,疼痛便可以变得不那么难受了。
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脑细胞.jpg
Targeting Certain Brain Cells Can Switch Off Pain

锁定特定的脑细胞 可以消除疼痛

Pain. It's unpleasant. But what if pain could be rendered less...painful...emotionally speaking? Such uncoupling might not be entirely farfetched. Because researchers have located a set of neurons that seem to encode the feelings of hurt that accompany pain.

疼痛是令人不舒服的,但如果从情绪角度来讲,疼痛可以变得不那么难受呢?这种疼痛剥离的想法可能并不完全牵强。因为研究人员已经定位了一组神经元,这组神经元似乎编码了疼痛所引起的痛苦感受。

Pain is both a sensory and emotional experience.

“疼痛既是一种感官体验,也是一种情绪体验。”

Grégory Scherrer, a pain expert at Stanford University.

斯坦福大学的疼痛专家格雷戈里·谢勒表示到。

Much of the research so far has focused on the sensory aspect of pain perception. And in particular how cells in our nerves are able to detect the stimuli that we perceive as painful.

“到目前为止,大部分研究都集中在疼痛感知的感官体验方面,尤其是集中在我们神经中的细胞是如何能够察觉到我们认为会痛的刺激源方面。”

But less is known about why most of us find pain so distressing.

但很少有人了解为什么我们大多数人会觉得疼痛是如此令人心烦(情绪体验方面)。

So Scherrer and his colleagues set out to first identify those brain cells that are active when an animal experiences pain. The researchers used a miniature microscope to look at the brains of living mice. That technology was developed by Mark Schnitzer, who does neuroscience and applied physics at Stanford.

因此,谢勒和他的同事们首先着手确定当动物经历疼痛时活跃的脑细胞有哪些。研究人员使用显微镜观察老鼠的大脑,这项技术是由斯坦福大学从事神经科学和应用物理学研究的马克·施尼策研发的。

This microscope is small and light enough that it can be worn on the head of an adult mouse as the animal behaves in a natural manner.

“这种显微镜体积小,重量轻,所以可以佩戴在成年老鼠的头上以(观察)它们的自然行为。”

When these microscope-wearing mice were poked with a pin or exposed to mild heat or cold, cells in a subregion of their amygdalas lit up.

当这些佩戴着显微镜的老鼠被大头针戳中或身体暴露在微热或寒冷的环境中时,它们杏仁核区域(大脑中负责产生情绪、识别情绪和调节情绪的结构)的细胞就会点亮。

So this indicated that there's a particular type of cell in a given region of the brain that seemed to specifically encode the percept of pain.

“所以这表明,在大脑的特定区域有一种特定类型的细胞似乎专门编码疼痛感知。”

But are these cells responsible for sensing pain...or interpreting the sensation? To find out, the researchers shut the cells down. And they poked the animals again.

但是这些细胞是负责感知疼痛(感官体验)?还是负责将这种感觉转译为情绪呢(情绪体验)?为了找到答案,研究人员关闭了这些细胞,然后它们又戳了戳这些老鼠。

So when we did that, what we observed is that while animals were still withdrawing from the stimulus, indicating that they could detect it, so the sensation aspect of pain was intact, they didn't seem to care about the stimulus.

“而当我们这么做的时候,我们观察到的是,这些动物仍然因刺激物而撤离,这表明它们能够感知到刺激物,所以对疼痛方面的感知是完全没有受到影响的,(不过)他们似乎并不在意刺激物。”

That is, they didn't make any effort to avoid the place where they experienced the discomfort...which is how mice usually react to pain. The findings are in the journal Science. [Gregory Corder et al., An amygdalar neural ensemble that encodes the unpleasantness of pain]

换句话说,它们没有做任何努力去规避曾让它们经历不适的地方,避免去曾经引起不适的地方通常是老鼠对疼痛所作出的反应。研究结果发表在《科学》杂志上。

A future part of treating pain therefore could be to target these particular neurons. You'd still have the physical part of the pain. But the negative perception of the pain could be diminished. Which means: still pain, but also gain.

因此,未来治疗疼痛的策略可能是针对这些特定的神经元。你的身体仍然会有痛感,但疼痛所引起的消极感受可能会减弱。这就意味着:依然会感觉到痛,但你也会从中得到好处(情绪方面的负面感受减少了)。

小e英语Jewel翻译!

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