A Multisensory fMRI Investigation of Nociceptive-preferential Cortical Regions and Responses


The existence of nociceptive-specific brain regions has been a controversial issue for decades. Multisensory fMRI studies, which examine fMRI activities in response to various types of sensory stimulation, could help identify nociceptive-specific brain regions, but previous studies are limited by sample size and they did not differentiate nociceptive-specific regions and nociceptive-preferential regions, which have significantly larger responses to nociceptive input. In this study, we conducted a multisensory fMRI experiment on 80 healthy participants, with the aim to determine whether there are certain brain regions that specifically or preferentially respond to nociceptive stimulation. By comparing the evoked fMRI responses across four sensory modalities, we found a series of brain regions specifically or preferentially involved in nociceptive sensory input. Particularly, we found different parts of some cortical regions, such as insula and cingulate gyrus, play different functional roles in the processing of nociceptive stimulation. Hence, this multisensory study improves our understanding of the functional integrations and segregations of the nociceptive-related regions.

Frontiers in Neuroscience
Gan Huang
Gan Huang

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