You are currently viewing Ascending Pathways for Pain Mnemonics [Remember Easily]

Medical and nursing students can benefit from the mnemonic “SPAT the pain signal to your brain,” which is an easy method to recall the main points of the ascending pathways for pain. This can aid in the memorization of crucial route information that can be applied to the diagnosis and treatment of pain issues in the future.

The mnemonic can also be used to study the anatomy and physiology of pain pathways, as it is a convenient approach to recall the various areas of the cerebral cortex that are involved in pain processing. 

Pain signals travel from the spinal cord to the thalamus and then to the cerebral cortex via the ascending pain pathways. Humans rely on these pathways to feel pain, and their disruption can result in long-lasting problems with pain and temperature perception.

Very distinct regions of the cerebral cortex, including those involved in sensory discrimination and emotional responses to pain, receive the pain signal from thalamic locations.

Ascending Pathways for Pain Mnemonics :

  • S – Spinothalamic tract: The contralateral spinothalamic tract carries the pain signal from the spinal cord to the thalamus.

  • P – Pain signal divergence: The pain signal diverges from the thalamus to several distinct areas of the cerebral cortex, including the somatosensory cortex and regions linked to emotional responses.

  • A – Affective dimension: The pathways to the frontal cortex subserve the affective or unpleasant emotional dimension of pain, producing suffering and fear.

  • T – Thalamic projections: One of the thalamic projections is to the somatosensory cortex, which mediates the sensory discriminative aspects of pain.

Mnemonic: SPAT the pain signal to your cortex”


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department