Shriver, Adam J. (2016) Cortex necessary for pain — but not in sense that matters. Animal Sentience. 3(27)
Brian Key, Why fish do not feel pain
Certain cortical regions are necessary for pain in humans in the sense that, at particular times, they play a direct role in pain. However, it is not true that they are necessary in the more important sense that pain is never possible in humans without them. There are additional details from human lesion studies concerning functional plasticity that undermine Key’s (2016) interpretation. Moreover, no one has yet identified any specific behaviors that mammalian cortical pain regions make possible that are absent in fish.