Using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, the team saw pain "happening" inside the infant brain and it looked a lot like pain in adults."Babies can't tell us about their experience of pain and it is difficult to infer pain from visual observations," said Rebeccah Slater of Oxford University's department of paediatrics, lead author of the report.

These scans were then compared with brain scans of adults exposed to the same pain stimulus.  The researchers found that 18 of the 20 brain regions active in adults experiencing pain were active in babies.Scans also showed that babies' brains had the same response to a weak "poke" as adults did to a stimulus four times as strong.  The findings suggest that not only do babies experience pain just like adults but that they also have a much lower pain threshold.The research was reported in the journal eLife.

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