David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Consciousness and Cognition 8 (4):391-422 (1999)
Pain is an important focus for consciousness research because it is an avenue for exploring somatic awareness, emotion, and the genesis of subjectivity. In principle, pain is awareness of tissue trauma, but pain can occur in the absence of identifiable injury, and sometimes substantive tissue injury produces no pain. The purpose of this paper is to help bridge pain research and consciousness studies. It reviews the basic sensory neurophysiology associated with tissue injury, including transduction, transmission, modulation, and central representation. In addition, it highlights the central mechanisms for the emotional aspects of pain, demonstrating the physiological link between tissue trauma and mechanisms of emotional arousal. Finally, we discuss several current issues in the field of pain research that bear on central issues in consciousness studies, such as sickness and sense of self.
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