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The Chase Today: Summary and Implications 

The Chase Today: Summary and Implications
The Chase Today: Summary and Implications

Kenneth L. Casey

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date: 08 August 2020

Our conceptual model of how pain is created has been transformed dramatically since the late 19th century and has accelerated markedly since the creation of the International Association for the Study of Pain in 1973. This transformation greatly affects medical practice, neuroscience, and philosophical ideas about human experience. Owing to the combined application of electrophysiology, sensory psychophysics, and in vivo brain imaging, we now recognize pain as emerging from the conjoint action and interaction of physiologically identifiable central nervous system circuits mediating sensory and affective experiences, and we know that these circuits are modulated by multiple neurophysiological processes, including cognition and the generation of pain itself. Contemporary models of pain neurobiology should lead to increasing the range and effectiveness of approaches to the treatment of acute and chronic pain, expand the opportunities for neuroscientific research, and guide our inquiries into the foundations of human experience. Our knowledge of pain neurobiology remains limited but will increase as the chase for pain continues.

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