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Sensational Patterns: Decoding the Neural Sensations of Pain and Itch

Date Thursday, October 13, 2016
10:20 - 11 a.m.
Location BU Library Fireside Lounge - View maps and directions
Instructions for GuestsGet maps and directions to Bethel University.
SponsorsFaculty Development and Friends of the BU Library

Event Description

People suffering from chronic pain and chronic itch experience a severe loss in quality of life, and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on their treatment. It has been hypothesized that the peripheral nervous system uses the same channels to communicate both pain and itch sensations to the brain and that the distinction between these two arises from a distinct encoding by peripheral neurons.

The following Edgren Scholars team developed a mathematical model describing experimentally recorded neural discharge patterns associated with stimuli known to produce painful versus itchy sensations.

  • Brian Turnquist, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Annie Melling, senior Math Ed, Grades 5-12/Mathematics student
  • Peter Klemme, senior Computer Science student

Find out how they are using a statistical tool to help answer fundamental questions about sensation.


Contact Ann Gannon at 651.635.8717 or agannon@bethel.edu.