Norman Rosenthal on “The Profound Impact of Stress: Human Biology and Social Implications
for the Individual and Society”
This past month I had the pleasure and privilege of taking part in a symposium on the effects of stress on the mind and body, sponsored by the Kluge Foundation and held at the Library of Congress. The presentation that most captured my attention involved anxiety, pain, and the placebo effect, and was presented by Fabrizio Benedetti, Professor of Neurophysiology and Human Physiology at the University of Turin, Italy.
Fascinating as the symposium was, the real star of the show was the Library of Congress. I am ashamed to say that I have lived in Washington, D.C. for over 30 years and have never set foot in this magnificent building before. Its façade alone could rival those of many of the grand buildings in Europe considered indispensable sights to include on a European trip. The interior of the building is even more impressive. As I wondered down the halls, I had the sense of being inside a Venetian palazzo of enormous dimensions. The floors are covered with mosaics, the ceilings painted, and marble abounds in the form of columns and archways. Lush and magnificent, it is unimaginable that any Congress would appropriate funds for such an edifice in these straitened times.
For more of Dr. Rosenthal’s comments on “The Profound Impact of Stress: Human Biology and Social Implications for the Individual and Society” see: http://normanrosenthal.com/blog/2012/04/stress-pain-placebo-effect-library-of-congress/