Keyword Analysis & Research: what does the gate control theory propose

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What is the gate-control theory?

The gate-control theory ( Melzack & Wall 1965) states that in each dorsal horn there exists a ‘gate’ responsible for inhibiting or facilitating afferent impulses. The control of this ‘gate’ depends upon the relative activity in large-diameter (A-beta) fibres and small-diameter (A-delta and C-) fibres.

What is the gate control process?

A Closer Look at the Gate Control Process. When there is more large fiber activity in comparison to pain fiber activity, people tend to experience less pain. This means that the pain gates are closed. Pain fibers impede the inhibitory interneurons, allowing pain information to travel up to the brain.

What is the gate control theory of pain?

If these situations sound familiar, you’ve experienced the basic premise behind “the gate control theory of pain.” This theory proposes that neurological gateways in our brains decide which pain signals get to come through and which are kept out.

What are the flaws of the gate control theory?

Some suggest that the theory contains flaws based on human biology. For instance, it contradicts the notion that all excitatory neuron axon terminals are excitatory and all inhibitory neuron axon terminals are inhibitory. 2 Even Melzack himself later admitted that the gate control theory failed to explain both phantom pain and chronic pain issues.

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