This is when the brain processes the nociceptive information coming in and assesses how threatening it is to the body. It needs to answer:
1) What does this mean
2) What will be advantageous
Taking Bethany Hamilton (again) for an example, the answer to the first question was obvious. What would have been advantageous was that she got out of the water as fast as she could (which she did) and got the help she needed as soon as possible. If she had stayed in the water, she would have bled to death, never mind getting the shark in a frenzy. This is called descending inhibition (this will be discussed in a later blog post).
Any credible evidence of danger to your body will modulate Pain. This time, for her, the danger was not the shark bite, but, rather, the danger of bleeding to death in the water. Therefore, no Pain, or minimal Pain.