Induced oscillatory signaling in the beta frequency of top-down pain modulation

Martin Diers*, Cecile de Vos, Wiebke Gandhi, Marie Eve Hoeppli, Susanne Becker, Elisabeth Bock, Sylvain Baillet, Petra Schweinhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Induced synchronized brain activity, particularly in the beta-frequency range, has rarely been investigated in human
electrophysiological studies of attentional modulation of the perception of nociceptive stimuli.
Methods: We measured time-resolved brain responses to nociceptive stimuli in healthy subjects (final data set: n 5 17) using
magnetoencephalography (MEG). In addition to investigating evoked responses as previous studies, we tested whether
synchronized beta activity induced by nociceptive stimuli differs between 2 attentional conditions. Subjects were presented
simultaneously with 2 stimulus modalities (pain-producing intraepidermal electrical stimuli and visual stimuli) in 2 different
experimental conditions, ie, “attention to pain” and “attention to color.” Pain ratings between conditions were compared using a 2-
sided paired-sample t test; MEG data were analyzed with Brainstorm.
Results: Pain ratings were significantly higher in the “attention to pain” compared with the “attention to color” condition. Peak
amplitudes of the evoked responses were significantly larger in the “attention to pain” condition bilaterally in the insula and
secondary somatosensory cortex, and in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) contralateral to stimulation. Induced responses to
painful stimuli were significantly stronger in contralateral SI in the beta-frequency range in the “attention to pain” condition.
Conclusions: This study replicates previous reports w.r.t. the attentional modulation of evoked responses and suggests
a functional role of induced oscillatory activity in the beta frequency in top-down modulation of nociceptive stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPain Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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