Nonlinear relationship between perception of deep pain and medial prefrontal cortex response is related to sympathovagal balance

Roberta Sclocco, M. L. Loggia, R. G. Garcia, R. Edwards, J. Kim, S. Cerutti, A. M. Bianchi, V. Napadow, R. Barbieri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Brain responses to evoked pain have been extensively investigated during the past years. Medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) has been identified as a region showing a nonlinear, quadratic response to increasing evoked deep pain. Concurrently, MPFC plays an important role as an autonomic mediator in pain perception. Therefore, we hypothesize that MPFC response to pain is directly correlated with autonomic outflow. In order to test our hypothesis, we integrated autonomic modulation with functional neuroimaging data (BOLD fMRI) obtained during evoked deep tissue pain. We selected the LF/HF ratio, estimated instantaneously through a point process approach, as a measure of sympathovagal balance. Our findings reveal that mean LF/HF values show a nonlinear, U-shaped response to increasing pain, supporting our initial hypothesis. Furthermore, we found that subjects with higher LF/HF ratios, that is, higher shift towards sympathetic outflow, also show increased activation in the ventral portion of MPFC, thus providing further evidence in support of the relevant role of this region in sympathetic modulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIFMBE Proceedings
Pages1671-1674
Number of pages4
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event13th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 2013, MEDICON 2013 - Seville, Spain
Duration: Sep 25 2013Sep 28 2013

Other

Other13th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 2013, MEDICON 2013
CountrySpain
CitySeville
Period9/25/139/28/13

Keywords

  • Central autonomic network
  • Deep pain
  • fMRI
  • Heart rate variability
  • Medial prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering

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  • Cite this

    Sclocco, R., Loggia, M. L., Garcia, R. G., Edwards, R., Kim, J., Cerutti, S., Bianchi, A. M., Napadow, V., & Barbieri, R. (2014). Nonlinear relationship between perception of deep pain and medial prefrontal cortex response is related to sympathovagal balance. In IFMBE Proceedings (Vol. 41, pp. 1671-1674) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00846-2_412