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A Simple fMRI Compatible Robotic Stimulator to Study the Neural Mechanisms of Touch and Pain

Riillo, F; Bagnato, C; Allievi, AG; Takagi, A; Fabrizi, L; Saggio, G; Arichi, T; (2016) A Simple fMRI Compatible Robotic Stimulator to Study the Neural Mechanisms of Touch and Pain. Annals of Biomedical Engineering , 44 (8) pp. 2431-2441. 10.1007/s10439-016-1549-y. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper presents a simple device for the investigation of the human somatosensory system with functional magnetic imaging (fMRI). PC-controlled pneumatic actuation is employed to produce innocuous or noxious mechanical stimulation of the skin. Stimulation patterns are synchronized with fMRI and other relevant physiological measurements like electroencephalographic activity and vital physiological parameters. The system allows adjustable regulation of stimulation parameters and provides consistent patterns of stimulation. A validation experiment demonstrates that the system safely and reliably identifies clusters of functional activity in brain regions involved in the processing of pain. This new device is inexpensive, portable, easy-to-assemble and customizable to suit different experimental requirements. It provides robust and consistent somatosensory stimulation, which is of crucial importance to investigating the mechanisms of pain and its strong connection with the sense of touch.

Type: Article
Title: A Simple fMRI Compatible Robotic Stimulator to Study the Neural Mechanisms of Touch and Pain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10439-016-1549-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10439-016-1549-y
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. Published with open access at Springerlink.com. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0)(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Mechatronics, Nervous system, Nociception
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1495853
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