Document Detail

Discrimination of innocuous and noxious thermal stimuli applied to the face in human and monkey.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6679916     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Four humans and one monkey performed two-choice discriminations between simultaneous 3-sec heat stimuli applied to the face. All subjects produced more accurate discriminations in the noxious thermal range (approximately 47 degrees C) than in the innocuous thermal range (approximately 39 degrees C). The difference threshold, defined as the smallest temperature difference detected on 75% of the trials, was smaller for every subject at 47 degrees C than at 39 degrees C. The monkey's discriminative performance was comparable to that of humans in the noxious range, but inferior to that of humans in the innocuous range. Subjects' superior discrimination at noxious temperatures cannot be easily accounted for by differences in primary afferent activity of warm fibers and heat-nociceptive fibers. However, differences in central processing or attentional modulation could contribute to superior discrimination in the noxious range. These findings indicate that heat-sensitive nociceptors are capable of transmitting precise information about noxious thermal input to the skin.
M C Bushnell; M B Taylor; G H Duncan; R Dubner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Somatosensory research     Volume:  1     ISSN:  0736-7244     ISO Abbreviation:  Somatosens Res     Publication Date:  1983  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1984-12-18     Completed Date:  1984-12-18     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8404780     Medline TA:  Somatosens Res     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  119-29     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Differential Threshold
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology
Face / physiology
Hot Temperature
Macaca mulatta
Nerve Fibers / physiology
Nociceptors / physiology
Skin Physiological Phenomena*
Temperature Sense / physiology*

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