There is complex communication between the thalamic nuclei and higher cortical areas that results in the final pain perception. The ventral posterior nucleus is the main somatosensory relay nucleus in the thalamus. It is further divided into ventral posteromedial, ventral posterolateral and ventral intermediate nuclei. The ventral posteromedial nucleus is the relay station for the sensory input from the head and face while the ventral posterolateral nucleus is the relay station for the sensory input from the rest of the body. The medial thalamic nuclei project to parts of the limbic system and are likely involved in motivational-affective aspects of pain.
Pain mechanisms Pain pathways
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