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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jan 16;392(3):159-64. Epub 2005 Oct 28.

Noxious heat induces fMRI activation in two anatomically distinct clusters within the nucleus accumbens.

Author information

  • 1Athinoula Martinos NMR Center for Medical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA.

Erratum in

  • Neurosci Lett. 2006 Aug 14;404(1-2):247. Becerraa, L [corrected to Becerra, L]; Borsooka, D [corrected to Borsook, D].


Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we found that a noxious thermal stimulus (46 degrees C) to the hand activates the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in humans, while a non-noxious warm stimulus (41 degrees C) does not. Following the noxious stimulus, two distinct foci of decreased activation were observed showing distinct time course profiles. One focus was anterior, superior, and lateral and the second that was more posterior, inferior, and medial. The anatomical segregation may correlate with the functional components of the NAc, i.e., shell and core. The results support heterogeneity of function within the NAc and have implications for the understanding the contribution of NAc function to processing of pain and analgesia.

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