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Neuroscience: Pain Detection

David Thomas
February 7, 2019

In this module, Dr. David Thomas, founding member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pain Consortium, provides an overview of the neuroscience of pain and seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What is pain? What do we know about the brain pathways involved in acute and chronic pain? What treatments are available?
  • What are the social costs of pain?
  • What are the current diagnostic techniques used to detect pain?
  • Are there objective measures of pain, and what are the drawbacks of technologies that try to achieve this?


  • to understand the difference between pain and nociception, how clinicians define acute and chronic pain, and the pain pathways in the brain
  • to understand the variability of the experience of pain
  • to obtain a basic understanding of the current diagnostic techniques related to pain detection

To learn more about Dr. Thomas, click here.

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