Magnitude and temporal variability of inter-stimulus EEG modulate the linear relationship between laser-evoked potentials and fast-pain perception


The level of pain perception is correlated with the magnitude of pain-evoked brain responses, such as laser-evoked potentials (LEP), across trials. The positive LEP-pain relationship lays the foundation for pain prediction based on single-trial LEP, but cross-individual pain prediction does not have a good performance because the LEP-pain relationship exhibits substantial cross-individual difference. In this study, we aim to explain the cross-individual difference in the LEP-pain relationship using inter-stimulus EEG (isEEG) features. The isEEG features (root mean square as magnitude and mean square successive difference as temporal variability) were estimated from isEEG data (at full band and five frequency bands) recorded between painful stimuli. A linear model was fitted to investigate the relationship between pain ratings and LEP response for fast-pain trials on a trial-by-trial basis. Then the correlation between isEEG features and the parameters of LEP-pain model (slope and intercept) was evaluated. We found that the magnitude and temporal variability of isEEG could modulate the parameters of an individual’s linear LEP-pain model for fast-pain trials. Based on this, we further developed a new individualized fast-pain prediction scheme, which only used training individuals with similar isEEG features as the test individual to train the fast-pain prediction model, and obtained improved accuracy in cross-individual fast-pain prediction. The findings could help elucidate the neural mechanism of cross-individual difference in pain experience and the proposed fast-pain prediction scheme could be potentially used as a practical and feasible pain prediction method in clinical practice.

Frontiers in Neuroscience
Gan Huang
Gan Huang

My research interests include Neural Modulation, Brain Computer Interface and Neural Prosthetics.