Image 1 shows the neurology involved: peripheral sensory nerves (blue), inhibitory spinal interneurons (green), and the projection neuron bringing final modulated signals to the brain (red). Image 2 shows firing from a painful signal, stimulating pain directly as well as indirectly through inhibiting inhibitory interneurons. Image 3 shows firing from pressure or motion. This stronger mechanical signal immediately overrides nociception via spinal interneurons, canceling the perception of pain. Pain cannot be perceived without the activation of interneurons carrying this signal to neurons that ultimately arrive in the brain.

Figure 4: Gate control theory

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