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The passage and questions in this quiz will help you practice using everything you’ve learned in this lesson.
Directions: Read the question, passage, or figure carefully, and choose the best answer.
Have you ever wondered why exactly we feel pain when we get hurt? Or why some patients feel phantom pain even in the absence of a real trauma or damage? Pain is a highly sophisticated biological mechanism, one that is often downplayed or misinterpreted. Pain is much more than a measure of tissue damage—it is a complex neurological chain reaction that sends sensory data to the brain.
Pain is not produced by the toe you stubbed; rather, it is produced once the information about the “painful” incident reaches the brain. The brain analyzes the sensory signals emanating from the toe you stubbed, but the toe itself is not producing the sensation of pain.
In most cases, the brain offers accurate interpretations of the sensory data that is sent to it via the neurological processes in the body. If you hold your hand too close to a fire, for instance, the brain triggers pain that causes you to jerk your hand away, preventing further damage.
Phantom pain, most commonly associated with the amputation or loss of a limb, on the other hand, is triggered even in the absence of any injury. One possible explanation is that the spinal cord is still processing sensations from that area.
The science of pain management is complex and still poorly understood. However, anesthetics or anti-inflammatory medications can reduce or relieve pain by disrupting the neurological pathways that produce it. The absence of pain, however, is a double-edged sword—sometimes pain is the only clue to an underlying injury or disease. Likewise, an injury or disease can dull or eliminate pain, making it impossible to sense when something is actually wrong.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that people who cannot feel pain
2. If the fourth paragraph, “phantom pain” refers to pain that is
3. Which sentence best summarizes the passage’s main idea?
4. According to the passage, what is true of phantom pain?
5. In the final paragraph, “a double-edged sword” means that the absence of pain can be