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Open Access Commentary

Central inhibition and placebo analgesia

Min Zhuo

Author Affiliations

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain, 1 King's College Circle, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 1A8, Canada

Molecular Pain 2005, 1:21  doi:10.1186/1744-8069-1-21

Published: 30 June 2005

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Most neuroscientists measure neuronal activity in the brain to predict or explore the contribution of neurons to physiological/pathological functions of the brain. For example, if an increase in neuronal activity is detected in one brain region by peripheral noxious stimuli, we call this area the pain region or pain matrix. In the case of activity detected during conscious processes, such as placebo treatment, we label these regions as responsible for the placebo treatment. Due to limited access to the conscious brain and the reductionist nature of most modern neuroscience, we are all reluctant to explore more sophisticated hypotheses. Few studies have performed experiments at neuronal network levels.