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Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Sep;30(9):2890-7. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20716.

Strength of prefrontal activation predicts intensity of suggestion-induced pain.

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Brain Research Unit, Low Temperature Laboratory and Advanced Magnetic Imaging Centre, Helsinki University of Technology, FIN-02015 TKK, Finland.


Suggestion, a powerful factor in everyday social interaction, is most effective during hypnosis. Subjective evaluations and brain-imaging findings converge to propose that hypnotic suggestion strongly modulates sensory processing. To reveal the brain regions that mediate such a modulation, we analyzed data from a functional-magnetic-resonance-imaging study on hypnotic-suggestion-induced pain on 14 suggestible subjects. Activation strengths in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during initiation of suggestion for pain correlated positively with the subjective intensity of the subsequent suggestion-induced pain, as well as with the strengths of the maximum pain-related activation in the in the secondary somatosensory (SII) cortex. Furthermore, activation of the insula and the anterior cingulate cortex predicted the pain-related SII activation. The right DLPFC, as an area important for executive functions, likely contributes to functional modulation in the modality-specific target areas of given suggestions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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