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Fear of maths can cause physical pain

Fear of maths can activate pain networks in the brain, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that anxiety about maths can activate regions of the brain linked with the experience of physical pain and visceral threat detection.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 02, 2012 00:07 IST

Fear of maths can activate pain networks in the brain, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that anxiety about maths can activate regions of the brain linked with the experience of physical pain and visceral threat detection.

The study led by Ian Lyons found that in individuals who experience high levels of anxiety when facing maths tasks, the anticipation of maths increases activity in regions of the brain associated with the physical sensation of pain.
The higher an individual’s maths anxiety, the more such neural activity.

“We provide the first neural evidence indicating the nature of the subjective experience of math-anxiety,” researchers said.

Men can take more pain than women

London: Men can tolerate more pain than women and are less likely to react to it because they want to appear macho, a study has found. According to a study by Leeds Metropolitan University, stereotypical gender attitudes account for differences in pain expression between the sexes.

Pain scientist Dr Osama Tashani recruited more than 200 British and Libyan student volunteers who underwent experimental pain tests. “Global research indicates a growing body of evidence that gender has an impact, with women displaying greater sensitivity,” Tashani said.