Chapter 21 Plasticity of pain-related neuronal activity in the human thalamus

W. S. Anderson, S. Ohara, H. C. Lawson, R. D. Treede, F. A. Lenz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Strokes and other forms of injury to the central nervous system cause changes in function because of the injuries themselves and indirectly because injuries cause expression of neural plasticity. Studies in humans undergoing neurosurgical procedures for implantation of electrodes for deep brain stimulation and for making lesions in the brain have contributed understanding of both normal and abnormal functions of the somatic sensory system. This chapter will specifically discuss the reorganization of the ventral caudal (Vc) sensory nucleus of the thalamus that occurs in connection with pain conditions after strokes and spinal cord injuries. It is shown that pain is associated with expression of neural plasticity that alters maps of noxious and innocuous stimulation in the thalamus and affect processing of sensory information. Results from studies of neural activity in the thalamus in humans will be compared with results from animal studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in brain research
StatePublished - Oct 17 2006


  • amputation
  • dystonia
  • neurophysiology
  • sensory reorganization
  • single neuron recordings.
  • thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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