I've read that humans have some sort of a kinesthetic model of their body and muscles. This internal representation of the body is used to control and coordinate locomotion. I don't remember if feeling of pain is related to the same model.

I've checked the articles below in hopes of recalling what the correct term for the kinestetic model was, but was unable to find it. Sensory Homunculus concept seems close, but doesn't ring the bell. Can someone suggest what the correct term for the internal representation used to coordinate motion is?

Phantom Pain

Phantom Limb

I'm interested in learning how people can feel various sensations that appear to originate within their skulls? For example, sometimes I feel headache and can say that it is in the left side, or I feel something in the back of the head. From what I understand, the brain does not have pain receptors, and there are no voluntary muscles to contract within the brain. This makes it hard for me to imagine how such positioning system can develop or what its purpose is.

With this in mind, I'm puzzled by how the location of a sensation can be determined within the skull.

  • Is this an extension of the kinestetic model of the body
  • Or is it a side effect of other pain (ex: teeth, thyroid) being mis-mapped
  • or just a side effect of a headache(ex: hallucination/synestesia)?

1 Answer 1


This question might be better handled by biology.SE. I think the short answer is that there are many pain receptors around the skull.

From wikipedia:

The brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain because it lacks pain receptors. Rather, the pain is caused by disturbance of the pain-sensitive structures around the brain. Nine areas of the head and neck have these pain-sensitive structures, which are the cranium (the periosteum of the skull), muscles, nerves, arteries and veins, subcutaneous tissues, eyes, ears, sinuses and mucous membranes.


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