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Transcranial magnetic stimulation over human secondary somatosensory cortex disrupts perception of pain intensity.

Lockwood, PL; Iannetti, GD; Haggard, P; (2013) Transcranial magnetic stimulation over human secondary somatosensory cortex disrupts perception of pain intensity. Cortex , 49 (8) pp. 2201-2209. 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.10.006. Green open access

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Abstract

Pain is a complex sensory experience resulting from the activity of a network of brain regions. However, the functional contribution of individual regions in this network remains poorly understood. We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1), secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) and vertex (control site) 120 msec after selective stimulation of nociceptive afferents using neodymium:yttrium-aluminium-perovskite (Nd:YAP) laser pulses causing painful sensations. Participants were required to judge either the intensity (medium/high) or the spatial location (proximal/distal) of the stimulus in a two-alternative forced choice paradigm. When TMS pulses were delivered over S2, participants' ability to judge pain intensity was disrupted, as compared to S1 and vertex (control) stimulation. Signal-detection analysis demonstrated a loss of sensitivity to stimulation intensity, rather than a shift in perceived pain level or response bias. We did not find any effect of TMS on the ability to localise nociceptive stimuli on the skin. The novel finding that TMS over S2 can disrupt perception of pain intensity suggests a causal role for S2 in encoding of pain intensity.

Type: Article
Title: Transcranial magnetic stimulation over human secondary somatosensory cortex disrupts perception of pain intensity.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.10.006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2012.10.006
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Primary somatosensory cortex; Secondary somatosensory cortex; Pain perception; TMS
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/1369396
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