Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Daniel S. Barth, Ph.D

Abstract

While mechanical allodynia, a disorder characterized by perception of generally acceptable stimuli as painful, is relatively pervasive, little is known about its mechanism of onset and maintenance, and few treatments exist for it. Recent studies of allodynia have begun to focus on a limited number of cortical areas as a potential mediator, however, a newly elucidated caudal granular region of the insular cortex (CGIC), has not yet been investigated. In this study, inactivation of CGIC in rats and its effect on allodynia is studied both behaviorally and electrophysiologically. A spine-CGIC-primary-somatosensory-cortex-spine signaling loop is then proposed as a possible mechanism of allodynia maintenance.

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