IT HAS been frequently observed that wide individual differences exist in what Wolff and Hardy1 have called the reaction to pain. However, cases in which the usual behavioral and physiological responses to noxious stimuli are apparently totally absent are rare enough to have aroused considerable scientific interest. Many of these cases not only are characterized by absence of reaction to pain but, through verbal report, have led investigators to infer that the direct perceptual experience of usually painful stimuli is very different from normal.
Several cases have been reported in the scientific literature of the appearance of general cutaneous anesthesia in which pain sense has been involved along with touch, temperature and pressure sensations.2 Circumscribed analgesias have been observed frequently. However, these examples of disturbances in pain sensitivity appear to be in a different category from the rare reports appearing later of cases of more specific lack of
McMURRAY GA. EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF A CASE OF INSENSITIVITY TO PAIN. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1950;64(5):650–667. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310290046005
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