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Subjects monitoring real-time brain scan (fMRI) feedback of their own brains were able to control their own pain levels, after three 13 minute sessions. The biofeedback technique may replicate self-hypnosis. The area that they monitored of their brains was the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, which is known to modulate both the intensity and emotional impact of pain. Note that this is the same brain region that was active in hypnotic states, reported in the above headline ‘Biological support for Hypnotic State’. This supports the idea that pain is well and truly a subjective experience. Research by Maeda and deCharms at Stanford University, California. Phillips, H. (2004). New Scientist, 3rd May 2004.

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