Insular Cortex Activity Is Associated with Effects of Negative Expectation on Nociceptive Long-Term Habituation

R. Rodriguez-Raecke, B. Doganci, M. Breimhorst, A. Stankewitz, C. Buchel, F. Birklein, A. May
2010 Journal of Neuroscience  
It is generally accepted that acute painful experience is influenced by context information shaping expectation and modulating attention, arousal, stress, and mood. However, little is known about the nature, duration, and extent of this effect, particularly regarding the negative expectation. We used a standardized longitudinal pain paradigm and painful heat test stimuli in healthy participants over a time course of 8 consecutive days, inducing nociceptive habituation over time. Thirty-eight
more » ... lthy volunteers were randomly assigned to two different groups. One group received the information that the investigators expected the pain intensity to increase over time (context group). The other group was not given any information (control group). All participants rated the pain intensity of the daily standardized pain paradigm on a visual analog scale. In agreement with previous studies the pain ratings in the control group habituated over time. However, the context group reported no change of pain ratings over time. Functional imaging data showed a difference between the two groups in the right parietal operculum. These data suggest that a negative context not only has an effect on immediate pain but can modulate perception of pain in the future even without experience/conditioning. Neuronally, this process is mediated by the right opercular region.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.2197-10.2010 pmid:20739557 pmcid:PMC6633339 fatcat:vyz2muyd6bhibgxjjpiy7xl3hu