Document Detail

Mood influences supraspinal pain processing separately from attention.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19158297     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Studies show that inducing a positive mood or diverting attention from pain decreases pain perception. Nevertheless, induction manipulations, such as viewing interesting movies or performing mathematical tasks, often influence both emotional and attentional states. Imaging studies have examined the neural basis of psychological pain modulation, but none has explicitly separated the effects of emotion and attention. Using odors to modulate mood and shift attention from pain, we previously showed that the perceptual consequences of changing mood differed from those of altering attention, with mood primarily altering pain unpleasantness and attention preferentially altering pain intensity. These findings suggest that brain circuits involved in pain modulation provoked by mood or attention are partially separable. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to directly compare the neurocircuitry involved in mood- and attention-related pain modulation. We manipulated independently mood state and attention direction, using tasks involving heat pain and pleasant and unpleasant odors. Pleasant odors, independent of attentional focus, induced positive mood changes and decreased pain unpleasantness and pain-related activity within the anterior cingulate (ACC), medial thalamus, and primary and secondary somatosensory cortices. The effects of attentional state were less robust, with only the activity in anterior insular cortex (aIC) showing possible attentional modulation. Lateral inferior frontal cortex [LinfF; Brodmann's area (BA) 45/47] activity correlated with mood-related modulation, whereas superior posterior parietal (SPP; BA7) and entorhinal activity correlated with attention-related modulation. ACC activity covaried with LinfF and periacqueductal gray activity, whereas aIC activity covaried with SPP activity. These findings suggest that separate neuromodulatory circuits underlie emotional and attentional modulation of pain.
Chantal Villemure; M Catherine Bushnell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  29     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-22     Completed Date:  2009-04-08     Revised Date:  2013-06-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  705-15     Citation Subset:  IM    
Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Affect / physiology*
Attention / physiology*
Brain / blood supply,  physiopathology
Brain Mapping
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology
Hot Temperature / adverse effects
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
Linear Models
Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
Neuropsychological Tests
Oxygen / blood
Pain / pathology,  physiopathology*,  psychology*
Pain Measurement / methods
Pain Threshold / physiology*
Young Adult
Grant Support
1-R01-NS44036-01/NS/NINDS NIH HHS; R01 NS044036-04/NS/NINDS NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:

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