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Somatosens Mot Res. 2009 Mar;26(1):1-10. doi: 10.1080/08990220902738243.

Perception and suppression of thermally induced pain: a fMRI study.

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1
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospitals Ulm, Steinhövelstrasse 9, Ulm, Germany. freund-ulm@t-online.de

Abstract

Two neuroimaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and thermally induced pain are presented. Fifteen healthy right-handed subjects were imaged while they had to discern different levels of thermal stimuli in the first study and while they disengaged from the feeling of pain during constant stimulation in the second study. In the first experiment, during painful phasic stimuli, right-sided anterior insular activation as well as bilateral posterior insular activation could be shown regardless of stimulation side, as well as right-sided activation of sensory association areas in the superior parietal lobule. Also, activation of the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex could be shown. In the second experiment, all subjects succeeded in suppressing the feeling of pain during previously painful levels of stimulation. During the early part of the tonic painful stimulation, bilateral activation of caudate head and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as well as insular cortex and dorsal anterior cingulated cortex (dACC) was observed. During the late part of the tonic painful stimulation, anterior insular activation as well as dACC and bilateral prefrontal cortical activation could be shown. Taken together, the activation of PFC and caudate nucleus hints at an important role in the initiation (caudate) and maintenance (PFC) of suppression of the feeling of pain. No ipsilateral sensorimotor activation could be shown in the second experiment. The possible import of unwanted sensorimotor activation due to the simultaneous rating process in the first experiment is discussed.

PMID:
19283551
DOI:
10.1080/08990220902738243
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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