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In their Research article -- fMRI reveals neural activity overlap between adult and infant pain-- Goksan et al. used a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the brain responses of adults and newborns to the same stimulus—a sharp poke of the foot.
The fMRI results revealed that pain increased activity in 20 regions in the adults' brains, and 18 of the same regions in the infants' brains. The team from the University of Oxford conclude that infants experience pain in similar ways to adults, though they may not experience all the emotions that adults have when they are in pain. It is, therefore, important to give infants suitable pain relief during potentially painful procedures.
Examples of the media coverage recieved by this study can be found below;
- Babies feel pain 'like adults', MRI scan study suggests (The Guardian)
- Babies ‘more sensitive to pain’ than adults (Today - BBC Radio 4)
- This Is a Baby's Brain on Pain (TIME)
- First infant MRI study finds babies feel pain 'like adults' (Fox News)
- Babies CAN feel pain and have a lower threshold than adults (Daily Mail)
- First infant MRI study finds babies feel pain 'like adults' (Yahoo! News)
- MRI Study Finds That Infants Experience Pain In The Same Way Adults Do (IFLScience)
- Babies May Be More Sensitive to Pain Than Adults (US News and World Report)
- Surprising Study Finds That Babies Feel Pain Like Adults (Huffington Post)