States that pain is a function of the balance between the information travelling to the spinal cord through large nerve fibres, which do not carry painful stimuli, and information travelling to the spinal cord through small nerve fibres, which do. It was first postulated by Ronald Melzack (1929–), Canadian psychologist, and Patrick Wall (1925–2001), English anatomist, in 1962. If the relative amount of activity is greater in large nerve fibres, there should be little or no pain. However, if there is more activity in small nerve fibres, then there will be pain.
Subjects: Psychology — Dentistry.