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Exp Brain Res. 1989;78(2):415-8.

Sensory and affective aspects of pain perception: is medial thalamus restricted to emotional issues?

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Centre de Recherche en sciences neurologiques, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Lateral and medial thalamus are traditionally thought to have separate roles in pain processing, with lateral lemniscal regions transmitting discriminative information about location and intensity, while medial nonspecific regions are involved in emotional responses. Contrary to this view, the present study shows that some single neurons in medial thalamus of alert monkey discriminate changes in the intensity of noxious stimuli that are equal to or below the monkey's own discrimination threshold. Since these neurons are also modulated by anesthesia and attentional factors, we suggest that parts of medial thalamus may participate in both discriminative and affective dimensions of pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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