Centrifugal Control of Somatosensory Inflow Into The Spinal Cord
In his thesis work Yngve Zotterman studied sensations in humans elicited during limb ischemia used as a method to differentially block peripheral nerves (Zotterman, 1933). To explain some abnormal sensations he considered the possibility that messages in sensory nerves might be inhibited in the central nervous system, a mechanism that could be concluded at that time from work by Sir Henry Head and Otfrid Foerster. Research in animals has shown that inhibition in the spinal dorsal horn descending from the brain is an important mechanism for the modulation of sensory information (reviews by Fields and Basbaum, 1978; Willis, 1982). Early studies on descending inhibition were initiated by Swedish neurophysiologists (Lindblom and Ottosson, 1953; Hagbarth and Kerr, 1954), two of whom contributed to this symposium.
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