Brain and Mind

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 277–290 | Cite as

Gate Control Theory Reconsidered

  • Kenneth J. Sufka
  • Donald D. Price


It has been 35 years since the publicationMelzack and Wall's Gate Control Theory whichhypothesized that nociceptive information wassubject to dynamic regulation by mechanismslocated in the spinal cord dorsal horn thatcould ultimately lead to hyperalgesic orhypoalgesic states. This paper examines GateControl Theory in light of our currentunderstanding of the neuroanatomical,neurophysiological and neurochemical substratesof nociception and antinociception. Despiteits initial controversies, no one has proposeda more comprehensive overall theory of painmodulation or has successfully refuted most ofthe basic tenets of this theory.

antinociception central sensitization Gate Control Theory long-term depression long-term potentiation neuroplasticity nociception pain 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and PharmacologyUniversity of MississippiOxfordUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and NeuroscienceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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