Pain: a distributed brain information network?
Mano H., Seymour B.
Understanding how pain is processed in the brain has been an enduring puzzle, because there doesn't appear to be a single "pain cortex" that directly codes the subjective perception of pain. An emerging concept is that, instead, pain might emerge from the coordinated activity of an integrated brain network. In support of this view, Woo and colleagues present evidence that distinct brain networks support the subjective changes in pain that result from nociceptive input and self-directed cognitive modulation. This evidence for the sensitivity of distinct neural subsystems to different aspects of pain opens up the way to more formal computational network theories of pain.