A new version of the thalamic disinhibition hypothesis of central pain

A. D. Craig, D. Bowsher, R. R. Tasker, F. A. Lenz, P. M. Dougherty, Z. Wiesenfeld- Hallin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The hypothesis is presented that central pain is due to the disruption of thermosensory integration and the loss of cold inhibition of burning pain. This is a new variation on the thalamic disinhibition hypothesis originally proposed by H. Head and G. Holmes in 1911 (Brain 34:102-254). The thermal grill illusion of pain provides a model for this concept. Functional anatomic substrates are described that provide a sound framework for the hypothesis. Predictions are made and unresolved issues are addressed that provide opportunities to test this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalPain Forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cingulate
  • Insula
  • Pain
  • Thalamus
  • Thermoreception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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