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Linking Pain and the Body: Neural Correlates of Visually Induced Analgesia

Longo, M; Iannetti, GD; Mancini, F; Driver, J; Haggard, P; (2012) Linking Pain and the Body: Neural Correlates of Visually Induced Analgesia. Journal of Neuroscience , 32 (8) 2601 - 2607. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4031-11.2012. Green open access

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Abstract

The visual context of seeing the body can reduce the experience of acute pain, producing a multisensory analgesia. Here we investigated the neural correlates of this visually induced analgesia using fMRI. We induced acute pain with an infrared laser while human participants looked either at their stimulated right hand or at another object. Behavioral results confirmed the expected analgesic effect of seeing the body, while fMRI results revealed an associated reduction of laser-induced activity in ipsilateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and contralateral operculoinsular cortex during the visual context of seeing the body. We further identified two known cortical networks activated by sensory stimulation: (1) a set of brain areas consistently activated by painful stimuli (the so-called ‘pain matrix’), and (2) an extensive set of posterior brain areas activated by the visual perception of the body (visual body network). Connectivity analyses via psychophysiological interactions (PPIs) revealed that the visual context of seeing the body increased effective connectivity (i.e. functional coupling) between posterior parietal nodes of the visual body network and the purported ‘pain matrix’. Increased connectivity with these posterior parietal nodes was seen for several pain-related regions, including SII, anterior and posterior insula, and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings suggest that visually induced analgesia does not involve an overall reduction of the cortical response elicited by laser stimulation, but is consequent to the interplay between the brain’s pain network and a posterior network for body perception, resulting in modulation of the experience of pain.

Type: Article
Title: Linking Pain and the Body: Neural Correlates of Visually Induced Analgesia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4031-11.2012
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The license allows you to copy, distribute, and transmit the work, as well as adapting it. However, you must attribute the work to the author (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), and cannot use the work for commercial purposes without prior permission of the author. If you alter or build upon this work, you can distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
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/1337000
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