Cyffwrdd a Phoen Corff Cymru


Cyffwrdd a Phoen

Cawn edrych ar y synhwyrau cyffwrdd a phoen heddiw. Today's programme focuses on our senses of touch and pain - including a head to head pain test!


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Transcript


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-Every single second of every day...

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-..our senses gather information

-about our environment.

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-The senses connect us

-to our surroundings.

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-I'm Dr Anwen Rees,

-a Physiology lecturer...

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-..at Cardiff Metropolitan

-University.

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-I'm Dr Katie Hemer, a Bioarchaeology

-specialist at Sheffield University.

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-We will look at the way the brain

-uses information...

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-..to create

-a unique picture of the world.

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-We will look at familiar

-and unfamiliar senses...

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-..and how they collaborate.

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-And how to trick them.

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-Lying here, I can feel fabric

-rubbing against my skin...

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-..the weight of my body

-on the bench...

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-..the movement of the air

-and, of course, Catrin's hands.

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-And if it gets too much for me,

-I'll feel pain.

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-Every second, five million

-touch receptors on the skin...

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-..send millions of messages

-to the brain about our surroundings.

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-Things like the hat on our head,

-the shoes pinching our feet...

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-..and the things in our hands.

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-They're very sensitive

-to pressure, temperature...

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-..vibration and texture.

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-This lets us know

-how tightly to grip an object...

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-..whether it's hot or cold

-and whether it's slippery.

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-The body parts

-most sensitive to touch...

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-..are the fingertips, the lips

-and the tip of the tongue.

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-The least sensitive area

-is the back.

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-When something touches the skin,

-a message is sent to the brain.

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-It decides whether to ignore

-that message or react to it.

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-That's vital, as we don't need

-to be aware of every tiny touch.

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-The brain receives

-millions of messages per second...

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-..from the touch receptors

-on the body.

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-What part of the brain

-deals with this information?

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-How does it differentiate between

-a touch on the hand and on the foot?

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-At Cardiff University

-Brain Research Imaging Centre...

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-..a machine will let me see the area

-of my brain which controls touch.

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-It wouldn't be a scientific test

-if I didn't look silly!

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-After some sticking and measuring,

-I'm ready to enter the machine.

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-This isn't a futuristic hairdryer!

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-It's a magnetoencephalography,

-or MEG, machine.

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-It will measure my brain activity

-as I touch this.

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-The device under my hand

-sends vibrations to my fingers...

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-..thus activating the area of

-the brain which deals with touch...

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-..called the somatosensory cortex.

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-The magnetic field around my head

-is measured by the MEG machine.

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-All I have to do

-is stay as still as possible.

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-I'm not sure how I did

-but I hope I stayed still!

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-Fingers crossed for a good result.

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-Data collected by the MEG machine...

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-..is combined

-with an MRI image of my brain.

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-Dr John Evans

-will take me through the results.

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-What you see here

-is the brain activity detected...

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-..when you felt vibrations

-in different fingers.

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-Active areas change according to

-which finger feels something.

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-Who is this little man?

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-He shows you what percentage

-of the cortex processes data...

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-..from different areas of the body.

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-As you can see, his hands are big

-and his lips are enormous.

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-That tells you that

-a large percentage of the cortex...

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-..deals with data

-from the hands and the lips.

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-These areas are very sensitive

-and a lot of data comes in via them.

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-It's important to understand what's

-happening on our hands and lips.

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-This diagram

-shows which areas of the cortex...

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-..process data

-from specific areas of the body.

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-There's also one-to-one mapping.

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-One area of the cortex deals with

-data from one area of the body.

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-But adjacent body parts...

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-..aren't processed

-in adjacent areas of the cortex.

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-The hand is next to the head

-in this diagram...

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-..but, obviously, they're not

-next to each other in the body.

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-However, the fingers are

-next to each other in the cortex.

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-That was obvious in my brain.

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-Is that what you see in every brain?

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-Is that what you see in every brain?

-

-Yes, it's the same for most people.

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-That changes for sufferers of

-phantom limb pain and chronic pain.

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-This mapping can be distorted

-in those cases.

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-It can be destroyed.

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-Understanding why

-mapping is affected so badly...

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-..could lead to more effective

-treatments for these patients.

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-How good are we at recognizing

-objects through touch alone?

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-I filled a bag with a collection

-of different items...

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-..to put people's sense of touch

-to the test.

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-I want you to put your hand in the

-bag and tell me what's inside it.

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-It isn't alive, is it?

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-No. It isn't alive

-and it won't bite.

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-A banana.

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-A banana.

-

-A sponge.

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-A toy car.

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-An orange and a hairbrush.

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-No-one could see the objects...

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-..but the touch system collected

-data about the shape, temperature...

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-..and texture of each object.

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-Everyone did well, but they

-struggled to name one object.

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-I don't know what that is.

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-Describe how it feels.

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-It's hard

-but my nails can dig into it.

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-I have no idea what that is.

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-Is there anything else in there?

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-Oh! Yes.

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-What's the final one?

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-It feels like ginger.

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-Ginger?

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-Ginger?

-

-Yes. It's ginger.

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-It's common

-for an autistic person...

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-..to overreact or underreact

-to sensory stimuli.

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-Twm and Gruff

-are five-year-old twins.

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-Twm is autistic.

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-Ffion, their mother...

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-..noticed that Twm underreacted to

-sensory stimuli compared to Gruff.

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-Twm is very physical.

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-He likes tight hugs.

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-He had a heavy touch.

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-Ready?

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-One, two, three!

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-He won't push slightly.

-He'll push hard.

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-His hyposensitivity means he likes

-to be rolled on the rug...

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-..and squeezed.

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-He also enjoys

-being pummelled with cushions.

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-You have to reach a high level

-for him to actually feel it.

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-It looks terrible but he

-laughs his head off and he loves it.

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-He'll make a great rugby player.

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-He doesn't hug you - he tackles you.

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-Being hyposensitive to touch

-means you need strong stimulus...

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-..in order to gain enjoyment.

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-Some people with autism

-are hypersensitive to touch.

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-The slightest touch

-can make them feel uncomfortable.

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-It's thought this is due to the way

-the brain processes data...

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-..received from the skin.

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-He loves to play in sand.

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-But it gets to the point where he

-likes to feel the sand in his mouth.

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-It's not just his hands.

-He likes to put it in his mouth.

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-We play with rice,

-which may sound strange...

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-..but he likes to feel it

-running through his fingers.

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-People who have hyposensitive touch

-tend to seek constant stimulation.

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-Twm follows that pattern.

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-Twm certainly gets pleasure

-from working his senses really hard.

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-We find that he gets frustrated.

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-If he doesn't get

-that sensory output...

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-..he becomes very frustrated.

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-I try to find the middle ground.

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-If he has a bit of rough play,

-he relaxes...

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-..because he's got it

-out of his system.

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-If he plays with rice, sand

-or water...

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-..it avoids the situation where he

-goes upstairs and turns on the taps.

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-He does a few things in an effort

-to satisfy his hyposensitivity.

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-We take our senses

-totally for granted.

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-We live with them,

-so we don't see their importance.

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-That changes when you have a child

-who's hyposensitive...

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-..and you see a tiny glimpse

-of the world through their eyes.

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-In addition to touch...

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-..autism can also affect senses

-such as sight or hearing.

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-Our senses mean we all

-experience the world differently.

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-Knowing how autism

-affects the senses...

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-..helps us understand how autistic

-people experience the world.

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-.

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-Pain is essential to warn us

-that we're injured and in danger.

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-Like the sense of touch,

-pain is sensed on the skin...

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-..but it uses a different system.

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-Receptors called nociceptors

-sense pain.

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-Different nociceptors

-are sensitive to different stimuli.

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-Pressure, temperature and chemicals.

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-Chemical receptors are sensitive to

-things like capsaicin in chillies.

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-That's why spicy food

-can be painful.

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-The pain signal to the brain

-is sent via two pathways.

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-A fast pathway and a slow pathway.

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-It can bypass the brain

-completely...

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-..at times when we experience sudden

-pain and have to react quickly.

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-The brain

-creates the feeling of pain.

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-Once the signal reaches the brain,

-it travels to several areas...

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-..including emotion, pain

-and movement...

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-..so the body can react

-to any danger.

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-Anaesthetist, Dr Huw Davies,

-is an expert at treating pain.

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-Surgery causes major trauma

-to the body.

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-Huw must make sure the patient

-feels as little pain as possible.

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-Anaesthetic is a triangle...

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-..made up of hypnosis - sleep...

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-..analgesia - dealing with pain

-and muscle relaxation.

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-Pain is a little bit

-like using a phone.

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-You dial, then the signal

-is carried along the nerves...

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-..and the receptor is the person

-at the other end of the phone.

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-If there's a lot of noise around,

-it won't hear the message properly.

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-You can change

-the way you think about pain...

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-..if you can find a way to create

-a lot of background noise.

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-Or maybe it's a case

-of turning down the volume.

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-That's the function

-of some of the drugs we use.

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-When painkillers like ibuprofen

-or paracetamol won't be effective...

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-..doctors turn to opiates

-like morphine.

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-The body also creates

-its own painkillers - endorphins...

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-..which are released when we're

-in pain or after strenuous exercise.

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-Morphine affects the same

-pain receptors as endorphins.

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-Local anaesthetic

-cuts the pain wires.

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-It doesn't affect the entire body.

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-It concentrates on the area

-from which the signal is sent.

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-General anaesthetic itself

-doesn't block pain.

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-It puts the brain to sleep.

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-The body

-continues to respond to the pain.

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-So I administer an epidural to

-deal with the pain during surgery...

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-..and it will continue to work for a

-couple of days after the procedure.

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-Modulation, one of four steps

-on the pain pathway...

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-..is of particular interest

-to researchers.

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-It happens when the pain signal

-is travelling to the brain...

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-..and it reaches

-the nervous system switchboard.

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-When you hurt yourself,

-you rub that area.

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-Why do we all do that?

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-When we rub the area

-around an injury...

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-..the surrounding nerves send

-conflicting messages to the brain.

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-It means fewer pain signals

-reach the brain...

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-..and this reduces your pain.

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-It's as though every phone sends a

-message to the switchboard at once.

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-The switchboard then struggles

-to deal with all of them...

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-..and so the message is diluted

-when it reaches the brain.

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-Analgesics

-stop us feeling pain...

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-..but anaesthetic

-sends the brain to sleep.

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-Huw must assess every case

-individually...

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-..to ensure patients feel

-as little pain as possible...

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-..during surgery

-and during their recovery.

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-I'm in Carmarthen,

-armed with a feather...

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-..to find out how ticklish

-local people are.

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-Nobody knows what makes us ticklish.

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-Are you ticklish?

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-Are you ticklish?

-

-Maybe.

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-I'm a bit ticklish.

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-I'm a bit ticklish.

-

-I'm ticklish.

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-What's your most ticklish bit?

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-What's your most ticklish bit?

-

-I don't want to tell you!

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-The soles of his feet.

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-Behind my ears.

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-Behind my ears.

-

-My neck.

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-All over!

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-We all tend to be ticklish in the

-abdomen, the armpits and the neck.

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-We naturally protect those areas

-by hiding them when they're touched.

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-It's a self-protective reflex.

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-How did that feel?

-Didn't you like it?

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-No.

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-Were you uncomfortable?

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-Were you uncomfortable?

-

-Slightly.

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-Nice.

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-Nice? Does it tickle?

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-Nice? Does it tickle?

-

-Yes, but it's nice.

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-We react strongly and laugh

-when a loved one tickles us...

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-..but we're not keen on it

-when it's done by a stranger.

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-Did you like it?

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-Did you like it?

-

-Not really.

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-How does that feel?

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-How does that feel?

-

-More ticklish.

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-More ticklish than the neck?

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-More ticklish than the neck?

-

-Yes.

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-Very nice.

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-Very nice.

-

-You like that!

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-Who makes you ticklish?

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-My children and my husband.

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-Oh! Lucky you!

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-Pain is vital.

-It stops us hurting ourselves.

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-But everyone

-reacts differently to pain.

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-We've come to The University Of Bath

-to find out how we feel pain...

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-..and what can affect it.

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-Dr Ed Keogh's team...

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-..researches the experience of pain

-for different people.

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-Today's tests will measure

-mine and Katie's pain thresholds.

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-The first test is about to begin.

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-This will measure

-our pain thresholds.

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-This gun will be

-pressed against our skin.

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-We must say stop when pain kicks in.

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-How will you do?

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-How will you do?

-

-Terribly! I hate pain.

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-Are you ready?

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-This is a standard test

-for measuring pain threshold...

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-..the point

-where we begin to feel pain.

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-Yes.

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-How was it?

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-How was it?

-

-Fine. It wasn't a sharp pain.

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-It was a pain deep in the arm,

-but it was alright.

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-To get an accurate measurement, the

-test must be repeated several times.

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-Yes.

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-Don't pull faces, Katie!

-You're next.

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-Ready?

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-Ready?

-

-No!

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-Ouch! Stop!

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-Katie!

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-Katie!

-

-That was really painful!

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-It was horrendous!

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-The results are in and one of us

-outperformed the other!

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-Yes. Your pain threshold is clearly

-higher than mine, Anwen.

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-Interestingly, we both became more

-tolerant as the test was repeated.

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-Yes. Our first readings were low.

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-Mine was exceptionally low!

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-That may have been

-due to the anticipation.

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-We were nervous. We didn't know

-how painful it would be.

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-There are many different forms

-of pain.

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-My pain threshold is higher than

-Katie's in this pressure test...

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-Ouch! Sorry, but that was painful.

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-..I may have a lower threshold

-for a different pain...

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-..such as this temperature test.

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-We wanted to undergo

-another pain threshold test...

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-..but Katie and I can't do it,

-for purely medical reasons.

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-Who can we get to do this test?

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-Who makes us do tests which make us

-look silly in the name of science?

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-Aled, the producer.

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-No!

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-Put your arm in the cold water.

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-Tell me the first point at which

-you detect a pain sensation.

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-Keep your hand there until you can

-no longer stand it, then withdraw.

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-Ready, Aled?

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-Ready, Aled?

-

-Ready.

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-Aled must signal at what point

-he first feels pain in his hand.

0:20:330:20:37

-That's his pain threshold.

0:20:370:20:39

-Yeah!

0:20:390:20:41

-I can feel pain.

0:20:410:20:42

-I can feel pain.

-

-Pain?

0:20:420:20:44

-He must then keep his hand in the

-water to test his pain tolerance.

0:20:450:20:50

-That water is cold!

0:20:530:20:54

-I've got to take it out.

0:20:550:20:57

-Do you want a towel?

0:20:570:21:00

-Do you want a towel?

-

-Thank you.

0:21:000:21:01

-Look at that!

0:21:010:21:03

-Is it beginning to ease?

0:21:040:21:06

-Is it beginning to ease?

-

-No. It's still cold.

0:21:060:21:08

-Once Aled's hand is warm again,

-he repeats the test.

0:21:100:21:14

-This time, he must focus

-on the letters on the screen.

0:21:150:21:19

-He must work out whether or not

-the letters follow a sequence.

0:21:200:21:24

-The aim here is to distract Aled

-from the pain in his hand.

0:21:250:21:29

-How was it?

0:21:340:21:36

-To be honest,

-it was harder than I expected.

0:21:360:21:39

-I thought I could hold my hand there

-for longer than I did.

0:21:400:21:44

-I felt pain quite quickly.

0:21:440:21:46

-What about the second time, when

-you were distracted by the screen?

0:21:480:21:53

-The second time was much easier.

0:21:530:21:55

-The pain was less noticeable.

0:21:570:21:59

-I think it took longer

-for me to feel pain.

0:21:590:22:03

-Yes, and the results back you up.

0:22:040:22:06

-Yes, and the results back you up.

-

-Look at the test with distractions.

0:22:060:22:09

-Your threshold and your tolerance

-were higher than the first time.

0:22:100:22:14

-Much higher.

0:22:160:22:16

-Much higher.

-

-Yes - much higher!

0:22:160:22:18

-The brain can ignore pain messages -

-this is pain tolerance.

0:22:190:22:24

-Pain tolerance varies

-from person to person.

0:22:240:22:28

-The test shows that

-distraction increases tolerance.

0:22:290:22:33

-Other factors which affect tolerance

-are gender, mood, fatigue...

0:22:330:22:37

-..and even swearing!

0:22:380:22:39

-Touch and pain allow us

-to analyse the world around us...

0:22:400:22:44

-..by recognizing danger

-and reacting to it.

0:22:440:22:48

-Touch is important to us

-in a social context...

0:22:490:22:52

-..and to handling everyday life.

0:22:530:22:55

-We all react differently to pain

-but without pain, we risk injury.

0:22:560:23:00

-The brain must decipher pain signals

-and decide how to react to them.

0:23:010:23:06

-In the next episode,

-we test our noses.

0:23:070:23:10

-It reminds me of public toilets.

0:23:110:23:13

-We'll discover how finely-tuned

-our sense of smell is.

0:23:140:23:18

-It stinks!

0:23:180:23:19

-S4C subtitles by Eirlys A Jones

0:23:330:23:36

-.

0:23:360:23:36

Cawn edrych ar y synhwyrau cyffwrdd a phoen heddiw. Today's programme focuses on our senses of touch and pain - including a head to head pain test!