Central mechanisms of itch

Hideki Mochizuki, Ryusuke Kakigi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Itch is a complex sensory and emotional experience. Functional brain imaging studies have been performed to identify brain regions associated with this complex experience, and these studies reported that several brain regions are activated by itch stimuli. The possible roles of these regions in itch perception and difference in cerebral mechanism between healthy subjects and chronic itch patients are discussed in this review article. Additionally, the central itch modulation system and cerebral mechanisms of contagious itch, pleasurable sensation evoked by scratching have also been investigated in previous brain imaging studies. We also discuss how these studies advance our understanding of these mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1650-1660
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Central itch modulation
  • Contagious itch
  • Functional brain imaging
  • Itch
  • Scratching-induced pleasurability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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