Changes in cortical oscillations linked to multisensory modulation of nociception
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2012
© 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
European Journal of Neuroscience
Volume 37, Issue 5, pages 768–776, March 2013
How to Cite
Mancini, F., Longo, M. R., Canzoneri, E., Vallar, G. and Haggard, P. (2013), Changes in cortical oscillations linked to multisensory modulation of nociception. European Journal of Neuroscience, 37: 768–776. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12080
- Issue published online: 4 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 18 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 17 SEP 2012
- doctoral program of the University of Milano-Bicocca.
- PRIN and FAR grants.
- Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, and by EU FP7 project VERE.
- body representation;
- multisensory integration;
Pain can be modulated by several contextual factors. For example, simply viewing one's own body can reduce pain, suggesting that the visual context may influence the processing of nociceptive stimuli. We studied changes in electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillatory activity related to visual modulation of nociception, comparing cortical oscillations during innocuous or noxious contact heat, while participants viewed either their own hand or a neutral object at the same location. Viewing the body compared with viewing the object reduced the intensity ratings of noxious stimuli, but not of innocuous heat. Time–frequency analysis of EEG data revealed that noxious, as opposed to warm, stimulation was associated with reduced beta (15–25 Hz) power. Classically, such decreases in oscillatory power indicate increases in sensory cortical activation. These event-related oscillatory changes were moreover modulated by the visual context; viewing one's own body increased noxious stimulation-induced beta oscillatory activity bilaterally, relative to viewing a neutral object, possibly indicating inhibition of cortical nociceptive processing. These results demonstrate that visual–nociceptive interactions involve changes in sensorimotor EEG rhythms.