Some biological features scale with the animal mass (see previous Q&A).

Assuming the same concentration of nociceptors on the skin surface, I'm wondering how painful a 1 cm wound will be perceived in mouse, human or elephant. Despite the same firing number of nociceptors, will the mouse feel more pain as a bigger percentage of the body has been injured? Is it known whether pain sensing follows allometric rules?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As you cannot really ask a mouse to rank her sense of pain on a scale of 1 to 10, it will not be possible to find a definitive answer for your question. $\endgroup$ – skymningen Aug 21 '13 at 6:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @skymninge there are at least 40 [animal models of neuropathic] (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20030738), but I'm not inside the field and cannot judge if some of them can be used for allometric studies. $\endgroup$ – Gianpaolo R Aug 21 '13 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ The question if the mouse will FEEL bigger pain is still debatable. As pain is a feeling, not even by questioning different humans you could measure how much pain is felt. You can measure reactions, but pain is a subjective feeling. If I have an especially bad day, cutting my finger might (feel to) hurt more, than on a day I feel very euphoric. $\endgroup$ – skymningen Aug 21 '13 at 10:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.