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Severe physical or mental discomfort or distress. Pain of a physical origin arises through detection of noxious stimuli or tissue injury by specific sensory neurons in the affected part of the body, which relay signals to the thalamus in the brain (see nociception). However, perception of and susceptibility to pain are determined by higher centres in the cortex and can be influenced by such factors as emotional state.

Subjects: Medicine and Health — Psychology.

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