Mathematical modelling of acute pain

N. F. Britton, S. M. Skevington, M. A. J. Chaplain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is an idea going back to Descartes and further, and held by most scientists until at least around the turn of the century, that the body has a hard-wired pain system where the instantaneous intensity of the stimulus at a particular point determines the pain felt there. This idea is incorrect in at least four respects. In this paper we model a more modern theory of pain and compare the results of the model with experimental data. The strengths and weaknesses of the model are pointed out and it is concluded that the model is a good one for acute, but not for chronic, pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1124
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Mathematical modelling
  • Acute pain


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