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The experience of pain is subjectively different from the fear and anxiety caused by threats of pain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy humans was applied to dissociate neural activation patterns associated with acute pain and its anticipation. Expectation of pain activated sites within the medial frontal lobe, insular cortex, and cerebellum distinct from, but close to, locations mediating pain experience itself. Anticipation of pain can in its own right cause mood changes and behavioral adaptations that exacerbate the suffering experienced by chronic pain patients. Selective manipulations of activity at these sites may offer therapeutic possibilities for treating chronic pain.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

18/06/1999

Volume

284

Pages

1979 - 1981

Keywords

Adult, Anxiety, Brain, Brain Mapping, Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, Cues, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Pain, Pain Measurement, Perception