The feeling of pain and the emotion of distress

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):471-471 (2002)
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Abstract

An ethological analysis suggests that effort and protection actions, which are expressions of distress, are comparable with pain expressions. Distress occurs with uncontrollable pain, and the expressions are ritualized pain responses with exaggerated features and lower thresholds. Pain is a sensory-motor feeling state with aversive motivational (hedonic) value. Distress is an emotional state of failure of pain responses to control the pain.

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