Pain and Decision-Making: Interrelated Through Homeostasis

Celina A. Salcido, Maxine K. Geltmeier, Perry N. Fuchs*
Department of Psychology, The University of Texas Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019-0528, USA

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© 2018 Salcido eta al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Arlington, 313 Life Science Building, Box 19528, 501 S. Nedderman Drive, Arlington, TX 76019-0528, USA; Tel: + 1 817 272 2281; Fax: (817) 272 2364; E-mail:



Pain is a multidimensional experience that motivates organisms to engage in behavioral repertoire to deal with potential life-threatening situations that are a threat to homeostatic function. The aim of this mini-review was to highlight the nature of pain, the role that pain has as a motivational drive to impact higher-order cognitive processes, such as decision making, and how these processes are intimately integrated with homeostatic mechanisms.


Both conceptual and neurobiological overlap suggest a close interaction of decision-making, pain, and homeostasis. Pain, decision-making and homeostasis are interconnected through a common denominator of survival and must be considered when assessing pain-related issues and treatments.

Keywords: Pain, Decision-making, Homeostasis, Pain Affect, Motivation, Neurobiological.