Sticks and stones may break your bones – but words can hurt you too, a study suggests。
Scientists found that reading a list of words associated with agonising experiences triggers a reaction in the part of the brain that handles pain. Although there is no immediate physical response, scientists suspect that hearing such words before experiencing pain could make the sensation worse, as the brain is primed to expect it。
科学家发现读一系列有关疼痛含义的词语会激活人脑中处理疼痛反应的区域。虽然没有即时的生理反应出现,但科学家认为在真正经历疼痛之前,先听到这些单词,会让疼痛更加严重,因为大脑相关区域已经在读单词时预热过了。 For instance, if a dentist talks about ‘drilling’ before he starts doing it, he could actually intensify your discomfort。
Professor Thomas Weiss, who led the study, said: ‘These findings show that words alone are capable of activating our pain matrix。
"Our results suggest as well that verbal stimuli have a more important meaning than we have thought so far."
Some of the words – such as ‘tormenting’, ‘crampy’ and ‘excruciating’ – were chosen because they are associated with pain
But others – such as ‘terrifying’, ‘horrible’, and ‘disgusting’ were selected to evoke negative emotions without being directly linked to pain。