Acutely, pain is protective. It promotes escape from, and future avoidance of, noxious stimuli through strong and often lifetime associative memories. However, with persistent acute pain or when pain becomes chronic, these memories can promote negative emotions and poor decisions often associated with deleterious behaviors. In this review, we discuss how preclinical studies can provide insights into the relationship between cognition and chronic pain. We also discuss the concept of pain as a cognitive disorder and new strategies for treating chronic pain that emphasize inhibiting the formation of pain memories or promoting ‘forgetting’ of established pain memories.
- chronic pain
- pain theories
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience