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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Jul 8;100(14):8538-42. Epub 2003 Jun 24.

Neural correlates of interindividual differences in the subjective experience of pain.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Center for the Study of Pharmacological Plasticity in the Presence of Pain, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA. rcoghill@wfubmc.edu

Abstract

Some individuals claim that they are very sensitive to pain, whereas others say that they tolerate pain well. Yet, it is difficult to determine whether such subjective reports reflect true interindividual experiential differences. Using psychophysical ratings to define pain sensitivity and functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess brain activity, we found that highly sensitive individuals exhibited more frequent and more robust pain-induced activation of the primary somatosensory cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex than did insensitive individuals. By identifying objective neural correlates of subjective differences, these findings validate the utility of introspection and subjective reporting as a means of communicating a first-person experience.

PMID:
12824463
PMCID:
PMC166264
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1430684100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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