How does our brain perceive pleasure and pain?

KYW Staff
January 15, 2020 - 2:55 pm

gorodenkoff/Getty Images


KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — How does our brain perceive pleasure and pain, and how does this influence our actions? 

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have been looking at the brains of mice to discover how neurons there divide the labor to handle these opposing behavioral motivations. 

the report is in the journal Neuron and the results are clear: Different classes of neurons control positive and negative motivation, sending opposing signals along a shared motivation, which is processing brain circuit. 

Ultimately, the balance of activity between these two groups of cells may determine whether a person acts to seek out pleasurable experiences or avoid negative ones.