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Feedforward and feedback pathways of nociceptive and tactile processing in human somatosensory system: A study of dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data

Song, Y; Su, Q; Yang, Q; Zhao, R; Yin, G; Qin, W; Iannetti, GD; ... Liang, M; + view all (2021) Feedforward and feedback pathways of nociceptive and tactile processing in human somatosensory system: A study of dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data. NeuroImage , 234 , Article 117957. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117957. Green open access

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Abstract

Nociceptive and tactile information is processed in the somatosensory system via reciprocal (i.e., feedforward and feedback) projections between the thalamus, the primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices. The exact hierarchy of nociceptive and tactile information processing within this ‘thalamus-S1-S2’ network and whether the processing hierarchy differs between the two somatosensory submodalities remains unclear. In particular, two questions related to the ascending and descending pathways have not been addressed. For the ascending pathways, whether tactile or nociceptive information is processed in parallel (i.e., 'thalamus-S1′ and 'thalamus-S2′) or in serial (i.e., 'thalamus-S1-S2′) remains controversial. For the descending pathways, how corticothalamic feedback regulates nociceptive and tactile processing also remains elusive. Here, we aimed to investigate the hierarchical organization for the processing of nociceptive and tactile information in the ‘thalamus-S1-S2’ network using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) combined with high-temporal-resolution fMRI. We found that, for both nociceptive and tactile information processing, both S1 and S2 received inputs from thalamus, indicating a parallel structure of ascending pathways for nociceptive and tactile information processing. Furthermore, we observed distinct corticothalamic feedback regulations from S1 and S2, showing that S1 generally exerts inhibitory feedback regulation independent of external stimulation whereas S2 provides additional inhibition to the thalamic activity during nociceptive and tactile information processing in humans. These findings revealed that nociceptive and tactile information processing have similar hierarchical organization within the somatosensory system in the human brain.

Type: Article
Title: Feedforward and feedback pathways of nociceptive and tactile processing in human somatosensory system: A study of dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117957
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117957
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Neurosciences, Neuroimaging, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging, Neurosciences & Neurology, Somatosensory system, Nociceptive processing, Parallel processing, Feedback modulation, Dynamic causal modeling, LATERAL GENICULATE-NUCLEUS, CEREBRAL-CORTEX, CORTICOTHALAMIC PROJECTION, SOURCE CONNECTIVITY, CORTICAL AREA, MEDIAN NERVE, PARALLEL, PAIN, INFORMATION, ORGANIZATION
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137869
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