Combining spatial and temporal information to explore function-guide action of acupuncture using fMRI

Peng Liu, Wei Qin, Yi Zhang, Jie Tian*, Lijun Bai, Guangyu Zhou, Jixin Liu, Peng Chen, Jianping Dai, Karen M. Von Deneen, Yijun Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the brain response patterns of modulation of GB37 (Guangming) and KI8 (Jiaoxin). Materials and Methods: An experiment using nonrepeated event-related fMRI design was carried out on 28 subjects with electroacupuncture stimulation (EAS) at GB37 or KI8 on the left leg. The discrete cosine transform and functional connectivity methods were adopted to detect the differences related with these two acupoints before and after the EAS. Results: Spatial patterns were distinct for EAS at the two acupoints, and the overlapping brain regions were mainly located in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and precuneus (pC). Two opposite patterns of modulation in the default mode network were detected from the temporal patterns with the overlapping PCC/pC as the region of interest. Furthermore, the specific responses of sustained effects at these acupoints were also identified. Conclusion: Spatial and temporal patterns of the sustained effect modulation of GB37 and KI8 were distinct. We suggest these findings may attribute to the functional specificity of a certain acupoint. Moreover, our current results reflect a significant methodological contribution to future acupuncture studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture
  • fMRI
  • Functional brain networks
  • Spatial and temporal patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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