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    Ineffectiveness of tactile gating shows cortical basis of nociceptive signaling in the Thermal Grill Illusion

    Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella and Iannetti, G.D. and van Dijk, J.A. and Haggard, P. (2018) Ineffectiveness of tactile gating shows cortical basis of nociceptive signaling in the Thermal Grill Illusion. Scientific Reports 8 (1), ISSN 2045-2322.

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    Painful burning sensations can be elicited by a spatially-alternating pattern of warm and cold stimuli applied on the skin, the so called “Thermal Grill Illusion” (TGI). Here we investigated whether the TGI percept originates spinally or centrally. Since the inhibition of nociceptive input by concomitant non-nociceptive somatosensory input has a strong spinal component, we reasoned that, if the afferent input underlying the TGI originates at spinal level, then the TGI should be inhibited by a concomitant non-nociceptive somatosensory input. Conversely, if TGI is the result of supraspinal processing, then no effect of touch on TGI would be expected. We elicited TGI sensations in a purely thermal condition without tactile input, and found no evidence that tactile input affected the TGI. These results provide further evidence against a spinal mechanism generating the afferent input producing the TGI, and indicate that the peculiar burning sensation of the TGI results from supraspinal interactions between thermoceptive and nociceptive systems.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Elisa Raffaella Ferre
    Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2021 15:11
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:12


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