DOI: 10.14704/nq.2016.14.2.957

Pain Perception Within Consciousness

Cengiz Mordeniz


As a psychological state, pain is perceived by the affected individual and it corresponds to a form of conscious awareness as a subjective conscious experience mediated in part by beliefs or emotions. Regardless of its 'physical' origins, pain, like all other perceptions, is a mental experience at different degrees of consciousness. The experience of pain requiring a stimulus, a feeling or emotion, and an effect or result, consists of an intermingling of chemical, biological, psychological, physiologic, socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic backgrounds, emotional, and cognitive factors. Not only the activation but also the connections are involved in conscious pain perception. Moreover, interconnectivity between the periaqueductal matter and orbitofrontal cortex is the key to cognitive-emotional responses associated with pain. Thus, the central pain control processes arising from interactions among the cognitive-evaluative, motivational-affective, and sensory-discriminative systems characterize the pain response, being also influenced by both noxious input and cognitive self-regulation. Neuroimaging studies (Davis et al., 2015) in healthy volunteers showed that pain cannot be localized in an isolated “pain center” in the brain, but it rather encompasses a neural circuitry.


pain perception; consciousness; pain experience; pain matrix

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The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest

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