Neuroscience Bulletin

, 25:237 | Cite as

Roles of the hippocampal formation in pain information processing

  • Ming-Gang Liu (刘明刚)
  • Jun Chen (陈军)


Pain is a complex experience consisting of sensory-discriminative, affective-motivational, and cognitive-evaluative dimensions. Now it has been gradually known that noxious information is processed by a widely-distributed, hierarchically-interconnected neural network, referred to as neuromatrix, in the brain. Thus, identifying the multiple neural networks subserving these functional aspects and harnessing this knowledge to manipulate the pain response in new and beneficial ways are challenging tasks. Albeit with elaborate research efforts on the cortical responses to painful stimuli or clinical pain, involvement of the hippocampal formation (HF) in pain is still a matter of controversy. Here, we integrate previous animal and human studies from the viewpoint of HF and pain, sequentially representing anatomical, behavioral, electrophysiological, molecular/biochemical and functional imaging evidence supporting the role of HF in pain processing. At last, we further expound on the relationship between pain and memory and present some unresolved issues.


pain hippocampal formation anatomy behavior electrophysiology functional imaging 



众所周知, 疼痛是一种复杂的体验与经历, 包括感觉识辨、 情绪动机和认知评价三个主要组成部分。 近年来, 人们已经逐渐认识到外周传来的伤害性信息是由脑内一个广泛存在的、 阶梯分明的神经元网络(也可称为疼痛基质)完成的。 因此, 鉴定出这些负责疼痛各功能要素的多级神经元网络, 并利用所获知识更好地治疗疼痛, 已经成为摆在人们面前的艰巨任务。 虽然关于痛刺激或者临床痛激发的皮层反应相关研究已经很多, 但是对海马结构在痛觉处理中的作用仍存在分歧。 在这里, 我们整合了前人在动物和人的海马与痛的关系方面的研究工作, 依次提供解剖学、 行为学、 电生理学、 分子生物学或生物化学及功能成像方面的证据, 证明海马结构与痛觉信息处理的相关性。 最后, 简单阐述痛与记忆之间的关系, 并提出尚未解决的问题, 以指导将来的研究。


痛 海马结构 解剖 行为 电生理 功能成像 

CLC number

Q432 R338.3 


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Biomedical Sciences of PainCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute for Biomedical Sciences of Pain and Institute for Functional Brain Disorders, Tangdu HospitalThe Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina

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