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Neuroimage. 2011 Jul 1;57(1):206-213. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.04.011. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Repeated pain induces adaptations of intrinsic brain activity to reflect past and predict future pain.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Ismaningerstrasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany; Department of Neuroradiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Ismaningerstrasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany. Electronic address: valentin.riedl@mytum.de.
2
Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Ismaningerstrasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Ismaningerstrasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology and Division of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.
5
Functional Neuroimaging Group, Department of Radiology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, 53127 Bonn, Germany.
6
Department of Neuroradiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Ismaningerstrasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Neuroimage. 2012 Sep;62(3):2176.

Abstract

Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed a persistent architecture of intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) in the signal of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of humans and other species. ICNs are characterized by coherent ongoing activity between distributed brain regions during rest, in the absence of externally oriented behavior. While these networks strongly reflect anatomical connections, the relevance of ICN activity for human behavior remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether intrinsic brain activity adapts to repeated pain and encodes an individual's experience. Healthy subjects received a short episode of heat pain on 11 consecutive days. Across this period, subjects either habituated or sensitized to the painful stimulation. This adaptation was reflected in plasticity of a sensorimotor ICN (SMN) comprising pain related brain regions: coherent intrinsic activity of the somatosensory cortex retrospectively mirrored pain perception; on day 11, intrinsic activity of the prefrontal cortex was additionally synchronized with the SMN and predicted whether an individual would experience more or less pain during upcoming stimulation. Other ICNs of the intrinsic architecture remained unchanged. Due to the ubiquitous occurrence of ICNs in several species, we suggest intrinsic brain activity as an integrative mechanism reflecting accumulated experiences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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