Gate control theory refers to a theory of pain holding that structures in the spinal cord act as a gate for sensory input that is interpreted as pain. This theory proposes that pain messages pass through neural "gates" in the spinal cord. Moreover, Gate control theory is a a model of pain which proposes that key processes in the experience of pain take place in the dorsal horn substantia gelatinosa of the spinal cord and are influenced by the brain.

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