Pain sensitization

Y. Carrasquillo, R. W. Gereau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The classic view of pain as a labeled line sensation has been debunked by the understanding that pain is highly modified by experience. The experience-dependent enhancement of pain sensation can be viewed as a form of learning, and these memories of pain are both unwanted and difficult to forget. In this chapter, we discuss the variety of mechanisms of sensitization in the pain neuraxis, and their surprising similarity to mechanisms of classical learning and memory. These similarities create both unique insight into the problem of persistent pain and unique challenges for designing novel pharmacotherapies for its treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning and Memory
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Reference
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780123705099
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Amygdala
  • Analgesia
  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Avoidance
  • Central sensitization
  • Cognition
  • Emotions
  • LTP
  • Learning
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Memory
  • Nociception
  • Nociceptor
  • Pain
  • Sensitization
  • Windup


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