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Objective Knowledge of Subjective Pain? Towards a Subjective-Neuroscience of Pain


Van Rysewyk, S, Objective Knowledge of Subjective Pain? Towards a Subjective-Neuroscience of Pain, Ngae Mamae, New Zealand Pain Society Journal, (Spring) pp. 10-20. ISSN 1175-821X (2014) [Non Refereed Article]

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How can pain science objectively know pain experience when it is subjective and private? Viewed as a puzzle about pain research methods, I make the pragmatic point that pain science has for decades used established objective methods to generate powerful data about the subjective dimensions of pain experience. However, as important as these methods are for our understanding of pain, they alone cannot describe subjective pain under the fluctuating conditions of everyday life, especially chronic pain, or provide a research strategy to model pain-brain relationships. I propose that an integrative research line I label "Subjective-Neuroscience of Pain" can address this research challenge and silence the puzzle via three main research activities: (1) using "subjective research methods", such as the Experiential-Phenomenological Method, describe subjective pain experiences, especially chronic pain experiences; (2) using relevant objective neuroscientific procedures (e.g., neurofeedback), relate subjective pain descriptions to brain activity; and (3) develop an online repository and archive for the storage and sharing of subjective pain data and painbrain data. The confluence of these activities within "Subjective-Neuroscience of Pain" may uniquely contribute to the understanding of pain.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Philosophy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Van Rysewyk, S (Mr Simon Van Rysewyk)
ID Code:99099
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2015-03-13
Last Modified:2015-03-13

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