Human brain activation under controlled thermal stimulation and habituation to noxious heat: An fMRI study

Lino R. Becerra, Hans C. Breiter, Milan Stojanovic, Scott Fishman, Annabel Edwards, Alison R. Comite, R. Gilberto Gonzalez, David Borsook*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

242 Scopus citations

Abstract

Brain activity was studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) following thermal stimulation. Two groups (n = 6/group) of human male volunteers were given up to four noxious (46°C) and four non-noxious (41°C) stimuli. In the 46°C experiment, positive signal changes were found in the frontal gyri, anterior and posterior cingulate gyrus, thalamus, motor cortex, somatosensory cortex (SI and SII), supplementary motor area, insula, and cerebellum. Low-level negative signal changes appeared in the amygdala and hypothalamus. All regions activated by 46°C were also activated by 41°C. However, except for SI and thalamus, significantly more activation was observed for the 46°C stimulus. A significant attenuation of the signal change was observed by the third stimulus for the 46°C, but not for 41°C experiment. Similar findings were replicated in the second group. These fMRI findings specify differences between somatosensory and pain sensation and suggest a number of rich avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1057
Number of pages14
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Peltier thermode
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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