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Free Content Where in Space is My Pain? The Role of the Defensive Peripersonal Space & its Influence on Pain Perception.

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Recent neurobiological research has revealed that the cortical processes associated with pain are encoded within multimodal and multi-frame representations of the body & surrounding nearby space (i.e. the “peripersonal space”). This activity is considered to facilitate both the detection & localisation of any bodily threats in order to guide appropriate defensive actions that help to avoid or minimise tissue damage incurred.

In addition, there also appears to be a distinct relationship between how nociceptive signalling is integrated within these multimodal body-space cortical representations and the eventual experience of pain evoked. Consequently, a number of innovative neuropsychological interventions have been developed to target these processes, with the aim to attenuate the experience of both acute and chronic pain.

Therefore, the intention of this narrative literature review is to explore current research that has considered how nociceptive signalling is integrated within these multimodal and peripersonal cortical representations, as well as discuss how modulating these processes may influence the experience of pain itself.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • Pain and Rehabilitation is a peer-reviewed, Bi-annual journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association and special interest group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The journal comprises a range of different articles types from orignial articles to systematic reviews and letters around the topic of pain and rehabilitation. The journal is multidisciplinary in its focus and welcomes submissions from all professionals working in this multidisciplinary field. the abstract of all articles will be freely avilable online. Full text articles are available free online to members of the Physiotherapy Pain Association, and access to individual PDF articles can be purchased by non members.
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