Touch – Mind Field (Ep 6)

published on July 13, 2020

When it comes to illusions opticalillusions get all the attention but thewhole body you have can be fooled andcan't fool the brain one of my favoritephysical illusions is the thermal grilleillusion and you can do it right at home

I have some hot dog halves in an icebath I also have warm hot dog halves nowwhat I'm going to do is marry the halvestogether so that they alternate warmcool warm cool when I'm done I will havea torture device but not one that hurts

Your body one that hurts your mindRosanna pansino hello my god welcome tominefield Rosanna pansino is the host ofthe Youtube cooking show nerdy nummiesso I thought she would be the perfectcandidate to try out our hot dog

Illusion now you didn't hear or seeanything I just did right no goodalright well you are in for a treat whatI want you to do is take the bottom ofyour forearm and place it skim Joey Kayright onto these hot dogs Oh would you

Feel OHbut now touch them individually likewarm cold warm cold but none of them isas hot as they all felt together sowhat's going on show oh yeah what we'vebuilt here is a version of the thermal

Grill illusion and for reasons that arestill being debated this can cause asensation of pain maybe the sensors wehave specific to hot and cold are bothalso specific to extreme pain andgetting them to fire right together

Makes the body think whoa whoa whoa ifthey're both firing that near to eachother that means get away Red Alert redalertthat's aware yeah so what I'm reallytrying to say is that this is a great

Way to hurt someone without their everbeing a mark or any actual damage it'spretty sneaky dudetry this at homethe surface of the human body containsmillions of nerve endings that send

Touch related sensory information to thebrain but in some cases those sensationsdon't even need to be generated by nerveendings ever heard of sympathy pain themost well-known type of sympathy pain iscalled couvade syndrome it's when a

Pregnant woman's husband goes throughlabor pains husbands can actuallysympathize with their pregnant wives somuch that they experience the sameproblems such as weight gain insomnianausea mood swings etc sympathy pain is

Also known as synesthetic pain its painsparked by seeing someone else get hurtamputees can actually be moresusceptible to it because experiencingtrauma can make the brain more sensitiveto other people's pain amputees can also

Feel pain in the limb that is no longerthere that is known as phantom pain butperhaps the most surprising way that thebrain and pain interact can bedemonstrated by the nocebo effect haveyou ever heard of the placebo effect

It's like when a fake pain pill actuallycures a person's pain because they havea positive expectation it will work welltoday we're demonstrating the exactopposite if a subject expects they'regoing to experience something unpleasant

Like pain will they feel it even if itactually exists only in their mind we'vetold our subject that she'sparticipating in a study to test anon-invasive bone-density scanner butactually it's a totally fake machine

That we built from a desk lamp an aircompressor and the kind of $10 laserpointer you might tease your cat with itdoesn't cause physical pain or for thatmatter physical sensation of any kind itdoesn't hurt at all

You guys this doesn't workbut we'll the expectation alone make oursubject think she's feeling real pain socome on in here just go ahead take aseat right there and then when you feelready to drive just let us know and

We'll dismiss you okay thank youfirst we have to make our subject expectto experience pain and to do that ouractors are going to scare her a littlesorry Jessica this is for science so areyou already done yeah I just mean I'm

Gonna let me get together what you doit's like a targeted lasertest bone density did it hurt yeah bythe look on her face it appears we havesuccessfully primed our subject forwhat's to come

The question is when put to the testwill she actually feel pain when thereis really none there this is Jessica hiJessicadid you have a seat everything in thisroom the medical equipment the hospital

Supplies even the demeanor of our fakenurse is designed to play on Jessica'smind to psychologically induce theanticipation from pain we're testing outsome equipment it's not invasive we needto measure the side effects and patient

Reaction and I want you to be reallydescriptive about what you're feelingand pay close attention to the pain thatyou feel and how it grows notice how weare suggesting that she will feel painfurther raising her expectations I'm

Gonna give you a ball to squeeze forpain management okayand anytime you want to stop stops rightaway okay okaydefinitely warm likelike tingly after only about seven

Seconds she's already feeling a physicalsensation on her skin where there isnonekeep in mind we tested our fake bonescanner and the light emits zero heat orfeeling of any kind yeah no it doesn't

Feel that great right off no it's okayfor 30 seconds it's really like stingingthe stings of sting and like reallyreally hot now it's hot we're at 45seconds okay thanks you described warmturning to hot it was like warm than

That like heat grew into more like asting on this pain scale did you pointto the amount of pain you were feelingbetween us six and a seven according tothe pain assessment scale sheexperienced significant pain if this is

Completely up to you but we can move tolevel two which is slightly more intensehow many more levels are there there'sjust five there's five levels or fivebut again you're in the driver's seatyeah sure let's do it

Here's another test of our nocebo willshe feel an increase in her level ofpain if she expects to are you readykeep in mind level two is fake we're notdoing anything different than beforemeaning nothing is happening to her yeah

Started off higher than the last time Isaydefinitely like already stingingimmediately she reports increasedpainting on level two it's 15 second itfeels really really really hot and like

Penetrating how do you thirty second Idon't know like half an inch or like aninch got it is very hot like burninglike my whole arm is like on firewe can stop at any time yeah thank youcould you rink for me how you felt at

Level two like nine and a half the powerof suggestion was so strongour nocebo caused our subject to thinkshe felt almost the worst painimaginable other subjects felt differentimaginary sensations the muscles are

Kind of kind of burning a little bit howdid that feel that was like a sevenactually it's tingling a lot more nowthan it was beforeI was surprised at the intense reactionsome subjects had to a feeling that was

Created only in their minds we're gonnastop it now that was 45 seconds describefor me the sensations that you werehaving it felt like a little pricklelike when you get goosebumpswhat about our original subject who

Experienced a severe nine-and-a-halfon the pain scale how will she feel whenshe learns it was all in her headI want to debrief you on everything thatwe're up to today so this is apsychology program and this equipment is

Not doing anything to you this is just amachine that makes noise and that's justa laser pointer on a lamp for real forreal we're never in danger this is theinvestigation in pain anticipation yeahthat worked

You did say that you felt a prickleduh-huh how do you feel about thatwhether it was really I didn't get itgoosebumps or I was nervous which is whyI felt it I know as a person like if Ithink there's gonna be pain I'm gonna

Feel something I do still feel like kindof like a burning sensationmy arm really yeah the power ofsuggestion is so strong that thissubject continued to imagine a physicalsensation even after learning it wasn't

Real the name for the effect is thenocebo effect it's a negative effectcaused by nothing but the mind it makesperfect sense you know the power ofsuggestion I'm shaky just thinking aboutit

Pain and touch are weird but what aboutwhen touch straddles the line betweenpleasure and pain when a sensation makesyou laugh and drives you crazy I'mtalking about tickling part of whatmakes you laugh when you're tickled is

The element of surprise your braindoesn't know exactly what to expect orwhen it's going to happen on the otherhand it's impossible to tickle yourselfif the brain knows where and when andhow you are going to be touched you

Won't laughbut professors of cognitive neuroscienceat the University College London haveinvented the tickle machine subjects itin the tickle machine with their feetagainst a brush that is connected to a

Handle at first when the subjects turnedthe handle the brush rotates at theexact same time resulting in no ticklingthen the machine is switched into ticklemode which causes a delay of less than asecond between when the subject turns

The handle and when the brush movesagainst their foot this is light changeis enough to prevent the brainscerebellum from predicting the sensationthus allowing the subject to respond tothe tickle tickles can be fun

Pain not so much if you couldn't feelpain that would be great right or woulditlet's meet Steve Pete Steve I understandyou don't feel pain yes I was born witha rare genetic condition called

Congenital insensitivity to pain onlyaffects about 40 or 50 of us around theworld with it only 40 or 50 people sofar that we've been able to find I'mtell me what it means when you say youdon't feel pain pain is used to detect

Injury that kind of sends a signal toyour brain saying hey don't do thisanymore it's an alarm system so whathappens with my condition is we feelwhat's going on like if I were to touchyour shoulder you and feel me touching

Your shoulder but if I were to touchyour shoulder in it in a way that'spainful I would feel just the pressureand the signal of pain would not travelto my brain okay so you feel everythingelse that I feel but you just don't feel

Paincorrect but that could be dangerous howdid you first find out you had thiscondition well what happened was I wasteething and I chewed part of my tongueoff

So my parents quickly took me to mypediatrician Wow are you ticklishyes do you itch yes do you like massagesyesdo you take painkillers no what about aheadache no but what spicy peppers I

Enjoy them yeah I mean I do since theburning sensation but nothing painfulwhat about intestine pain like gaspspain that's something I don't feel sothat kind of ties in though one of mybiggest fears was just having like

Appendicitis or any other type ofinternal damage that I just don't knowabout until it's too lateis there an upside to this I'm sure thatpeople often I evilly hear that youdon't feel pain and they think oh man

Well you should become a boxerthe only upside doing is uh being that Ihave has so many injuries during mychildhood as I get older I won't feel apain that comes with it other than thatreally I just try to live my life

Normally as everyone else does I cannotdescribe pain to you just like you can'tdescribe a color to someone who's blindwhich is where I run into my problemwith with trying to describe what notfeeling pain is like wow all that well

Steve thank you very much this wasreally really fascinating so not beingable to feel pain is actually a badthing but likewise the anticipation ofpain can be bad too just making someonethink that they might be tortured soon

Could be a torture device the CIA andGuantanamo Bay are known for usingpsychological torture involving theanticipation of pain against prisonersin the war on terror the effects of thistype of torture can last a lifetime

So what's worse waiting for pain tohappen or the pain itself you might besurprised we're basing our investigationon an anticipation of pain experimentconducted at the University College ofLondon which gave subjects two options

Option one experience intense pain rightaway or option two anticipate a lowerlevel of pain in intervals every fewminutes researchers found that thepsychological effects of dread can oftenbe worse than the pain itself we decided

To demonstrate this phenomenon bysetting up a fake research study we arelooking into the effects of electricalstimulation on the body it's allcompletely harmless but it can beunpleasant so we'll show you the two

Settings alright I want to show youfirst what we call the light settingokay you ready I guess oh and thenthere's the high setting oh okay allrightso again unpleasant definitely but

You're safe we call this the low voltageor light shock okay ready and now we'llshow you the the high voltage or highershock aghaokay now it's time for our subjects tomake an important choice all right so

Now you bet you know the two differencesyou either can choose choice a which isone high-voltage shock every ten secondsfor a minute we'll our subjects choosethe higher more painful shocks but getit over with right away or choice B is

One low voltage shock every ten minutesfor one hour or will they choose thelower shots but be forced to anticipatethe pain for ten minutes between shocksfor a solid hour either way you will behere for an hour what's worse a higher

Level of pain or having to wait andanticipate the lower level of pain takea look I think I'll do the shorter morepainful what okay now that they've madetheir choices it's time to see how oursubjects experience these two options

The subject who chose to anticipate thelower level of pain during the course ofan hour is seated in the low shockadministration room along with ouractors who are pretending to get shot nopapers were harmed in the making of

Issue this subjects our long ordeal isjust beginningbut what about the subject who chose toget it over with and take the morepainful shots right away we're startingno

Here's shocked number one okay yes theshock is painful but it was her choiceso this is shock number two it's reallypainful shock number three tap overexactly it may hurt more but she'sgetting it over with quickly shock

Number four number five number six okayyou're donemeanwhile our other subject is only onshot number one that's one shot downfive more to go while the pain level maybe large this subject has plenty of time

For the pain and its anticipation tooccupy his mindhey Jerome did you come with me oh okayfinally his hour is up tell me about whyyou chose the lower voltage choice Iguess less pain yeah while you were

Sitting there waiting for ten minutes toelapse how did you feel ain't you it'sso quiet in there so basically you gotyour thoughts but your thoughts is likeokay it's coming this anxiety may be thereason why in the original study a full

70% of subjects opted to receive themore painful shocks right away ratherthan suffer through the mental tortureof anticipation why did you choose thehigher shock group just knowing that itwas over within a minute I think 10

Seconds is easier to go along with andanticipate what was coming next so it'skind of like ripping a band-aid off Iguess you'd rather fast hard and fastyeah yeah yeahtickling may be annoying and pain may be

Well painful but we crave touch huggingfeels amazinghugging can actually decrease your riskof catching the common cold and huggingcan lower blood pressurehugging can also release oxytocin the so

Called bonding hormone I guess what I'mtrying to say is stay in touch

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