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Pain perception is associated with priming of the motor system and the orienting of attention in healthy adults. These processes correspond with decreases in alpha and beta power in the sensorimotor and parietal cortices. The goal of the present study was to determine whether these findings extend to individuals with chronic pain. Individuals with chronic jaw pain and pain-free controls anticipated and experienced a low pain or a moderate pain-eliciting heat stimulus. Although stimuli were calibrated for each subject, stimulus temperature was not different between groups. High-density EEG data were collected during the anticipation and heat stimulation periods and were analyzed using independent component analyses, EEG source localization, and measure projection analyses. Direct directed transfer function was also estimated to identify frequency specific effective connectivity between regions. Between group differences were most evident during the heat stimulation period. We report three novel findings. First, the chronic jaw pain group had a relative increase in alpha and beta power and a relative decrease in theta and gamma power in sensorimotor cortex. Second, the chronic jaw pain group had a relative increase in power in the alpha and beta bands in parietal cortex. Third, the chronic jaw pain group had less connectivity strength in the beta and gamma bands between sensorimotor cortex and parietal cortex. Our findings show that the effect of chronic pain attenuates rather than magnifies neural responses to heat stimuli. We interpret these findings in the context of system-level changes in intrinsic sensorimotor and attentional circuits in chronic pain.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: NeuroImage. Clinical
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A composite area of the cerebral cortex concerned with motor control and sensory perception comprising the motor cortex areas, the somatosensory areas, the gustatory cortex, the olfactory areas, the auditory cortex, and the visual cortex.
The cytoarchitecturally well-defined area of multilaminate cerebral cortex on the medial aspect of the parahippocampal gyrus, immediately caudal to the olfactory cortex of the uncus. The entorhinal cortex is the origin of the major neural fiber system afferent to the hippocampus, the so-called PERFORANT PATHWAY. (Stedman, 25th ed)
Area of the parietal lobe concerned with receiving general sensations. It lies posterior to the central sulcus.
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