Quantifying cerebral contributions to pain beyond nociception

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2017-02-14

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14211

Affiliations: 11

Authors: 8

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Research Highlight

Show me where it hurts

© Casarsa/E+/Getty

© Casarsa/E+/Getty

Pain feels like it’s occurring in the body, but the experience is constructed in a specific region of the brain, combining inputs from the affected body part and other brain areas. Now a neural signature has been identified that should help tease apart how the mind shapes our physical experience of pain.

Better imaging methods are needed to show why the same stimulus can cause more or less pain depending on the state of mind, and between individuals.

Now Anjali Krishnan at the City University of New York and her colleagues have combined data from six independent brain imaging studies, to identify patterns of activity in multiple brain regions that can predict the level of pain experienced in response to an equivalent stimulus.

This stimulus intensity independent pain signature-1, could be used to investigate the mechanisms underpinning chronic pain, and how our emotional state influences pain perception.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 8, 14211 (2017). doi: 10.1038/ncomms14211
Institutions Share
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, CU-Boulder, United States of America (USA) 0.13
Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS), CU-Boulder, United States of America (USA) 0.13
Department of Psychology, CUNY Brooklyn College, United States of America (USA) 0.13
Department of Psychology, McGill University, Canada 0.13
Department of Biostatistics, JHU, United States of America (USA) 0.13
INSEAD, Europe Campus, France 0.06
Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et Computationnelles (LNC²), France 0.06
Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Netherlands 0.06
Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), Netherlands 0.06
NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), United States of America (USA) 0.06
NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), United States of America (USA) 0.06