In 1984, it was initially discovered in mice that an extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) could attenuate opiate induced analgesia. In the past 30 years, we defined some of ELF-MF exposure and subject state conditions that can both increase and decrease nociception in snails and mice and can induce analgesia in humans. In our search for mechanisms and our desire to translate our findings to the treatment of chronic pain in humans, we pioneered the use of electroencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging to monitor effects during exposure. We have contributed to an understanding of the phenomena but a considerable amount remains to be done by us and those who have undertaken corroboratory and complimentary work. As the recipient of the 2013 d'Arsonval Award, I was invited to prepare an article for Bioelectromagnetics that highlights research findings that led to the award. Here, I have focused on our main findings associated with the effects of nociception of exposure to ELF-MF. To enrich the value of this contribution, I have put our research into the context of work of others. Further, I have suggested future directions of research and the potential for linkages and synergies associated with the extensive literature on animal orientation. Hence, it needs to be acknowledged that this is a report of our contributions and not intended as a balanced review.
Keywords: analgesia; animal orientation and navigation; magnetoreception; nociception; pulsed magnetic field therapy.
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