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January 9, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(2):153-155. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730280061021

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The Mechanism of Pain  Dr. E. D. Adrian, F.R.S., Foulerton research professor of the Royal Society, described in his Croonian lecture the progress made by himself and others in knowledge of the mechanism of nerve conduction by means of improved technic. By using the triode amplifier it is possible to record the change of a few microvolts due to the independent action of each nerve fiber when a motor nerve is stimulated electrically. This delicate method has been applied to sensory nerves, and remarkable but not yet conclusive results have been obtained. The difficulties of interpretation are considerable because pain involves a psychologic factor. Head showed many years ago that there are undiscriminating areas in the human skin that do not respond to the stimulus of hot water until a critical temperature is approached, when the result is a violent reaction. The temperature was close to that at which protoplasm