Rubber-stamped by the university’s Animal Care Committee, one traumatizing series of experiments attempts to study pain and pain pathways in the brain. Since the subject of concern is pain, no anesthetic is used.
Researchers permanently remove a portion of the animals’ skulls and subject the exposed brain to various surgical manipulations. One process, called decerebration, involves severing the connections between one part of the brain and the rest, rendering the animal incapable of voluntary movement.
Paralyzed yet able to feel pain, the animals are then subjected to a variety of painful stimuli while researchers record electrical activity of various brain cells.
What the experiments show and why they are funded by the Medical Research Council and the Ontario Ministry of Health is “none of the public’s business”, according to the university’s vice president of research, James Keffer (he said it was a private matter for scientists only). Apparently, it was none of Keffer’s business either, as he claimed to be unaware of the research when questioned by The Globe and Mail, Canada’s biggest national newspaper.
“Paralyzed yet able to feel pain, the animals are then subjected to a variety of painful stimuli while researchers record electrical activity of various brain cells.”