Author: Study Finds
SYDNEY -- Few people would hesitate to grab a newspaper and smash an annoying fly that’s been buzzing around the kitchen for hours. But if you’ve ever wondered whether bugs feel pain when you attempt to kill them, a new study is the first to prove that not only do insects feel an injury, but they suffer from chronic pain after recovering from one.
Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia say the discovery builds on prior research from 2003 that found insects experience a sensation related to pain.
“People don’t really think of insects as feeling any kind of pain,” explains co-author Greg Neely, an associate professor at the university, in a statement. “But it’s already been shown in lots of different invertebrate animals that they can sense and avoid dangerous stimuli that we perceive as painful. In non-humans, we call this sense ‘nociception’, the sense that detects potentially harmful stimuli like heat, cold, or physical injury, but for simplicity we can refer to what insects experience as ‘pain’.
“So we knew that insects could sense ‘pain’,” he continues, “but what we didn’t know is that an injury could lead to long lasting hypersensitivity to normally non-painful stimuli in a similar way to human patients’ experiences.”
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