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Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging of cerebral pain processing

H. Meyer, D. Kleinböhl, K. Baudendistel, M. Bock, J. Trojan, M. Rabuffetti-Lehle, R. Hölzl and L. Schad

Z Med Phys, 11 (1), pp.5-13

Neurofunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers the possibility to map cerebral activity non-invasively. The development of event-related techniques during the past years allows to study brain processes with high spatial and temporal resolution. Based on these techniques, EPI- and FLASH sequences were developed in this study, to investigate cerebral processing of experimental thermal pain stimulation. Phasic and tonic stimulation paradigms were developed with an MR-compatible contact thermode. Functional mapping of pain-relevant areas was performed with these paradigms, as well as a specification of the temporal characteristics of the activation. Further, a randomized paradigm with several stimulus intensities could differentiate graded functional responses, dependent on stimulus intensity in specific "regions-of-interest". In this design, randomizing the stimulus order reduced habituation effects, while continuous subjective magnitude estimation of the stimuli kept attention of subjects maximal.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 22.05.2019
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