Distinct patterns of brain activity mediate perceptual and motor and autonomic responses to noxious stimuli

Tiemann, L., Hohn, V. D., Ta Dinh, S., May, E. S., Nickel, M. M., Gross, J. and Ploner, M. (2018) Distinct patterns of brain activity mediate perceptual and motor and autonomic responses to noxious stimuli. Nature Communications, 9, 4487. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06875-x) (PMID:30367033) (PMCID:PMC6203833)

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Abstract

Pain is a complex phenomenon involving perceptual, motor, and autonomic responses, but how the brain translates noxious stimuli into these different dimensions of pain is unclear. Here, we assessed perceptual, motor, and autonomic responses to brief noxious heat stimuli and recorded brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG) in humans. Multilevel mediation analysis reveals that each pain dimension is subserved by a distinct pattern of EEG responses and, conversely, that each EEG response differentially contributes to the different dimensions of pain. In particular, the translation of noxious stimuli into autonomic and motor responses involved the earliest N1 wave, whereas pain perception was mediated by later N2 and P2 waves. Gamma oscillations mediated motor responses rather than pain perception. These findings represent progress towards a mechanistic understanding of the brain processes translating noxious stimuli into pain and suggest that perceptual, motor, and autonomic dimensions of pain are partially independent rather than serial processes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (PL 321/11–1, PL 321/11-2, and PL 321/13-1), the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts, and the Wellcome Trust (098433).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gross, Professor Joachim
Authors: Tiemann, L., Hohn, V. D., Ta Dinh, S., May, E. S., Nickel, M. M., Gross, J., and Ploner, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 9: 4487
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
597051Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain Oscillations.Joachim GrossWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)098433/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING