Adaptation of a novel operant orofacial testing system to characterize both mechanical and thermal pain

Behav Brain Res. 2011 Mar 1;217(2):477-80. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.10.022. Epub 2010 Oct 23.


Mechanical pain sensitivity is characteristic of many orofacial pain conditions; however, few models exist to quantify this pain. Here we evaluated a novel adaptation of our existing operant system to characterize orofacial pain following mechanical and thermal stimuli. We demonstrate that the operant system is able to detect painful and analgesic responses to mechanical stimuli. These findings allow comparison of both mechanical and thermal stimuli using the same outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Capsaicin / adverse effects
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology*
  • Hyperalgesia / chemically induced
  • Hyperalgesia / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Capsaicin