“Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain.
A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity”, varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips.
Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers without any touch, the researchers produced the first systematic map of how acuity for pain is distributed across the body. The experiment, conducted in the group led by Dr Giandomenico Iannetti (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology), is published in the journal Annals of Neurology and was funded by the Wellcome Trust. (more…)