Neurostimulation and pain perception: a TMS/EEG study

Irene Venturella, Michela Balconi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegnopeer review


In the present research we investigated the potential role of neurostimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation, rTMS) in pain perception, studying the effect of rTMS (10-minutes 5 Hz applied to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, DLPFC) on acute pain experience. A sample of healthy participants took part to the study. We used a capsaicin-based gel to induce acute but progressive experimentally-controlled pain and recorded self-report Visual-Analogue Scales (VAS) for pain intensity each 5 minutes and EEG measures over time. The experimental design included five 5-minutes recording blocks: a pre- rTMS stimulation baseline and four consecutive post-stimulation blocks. The capsaicin gel was applied to the back of the non-dominant hand at the beginning of the first post-stimulation recording block and removed at the beginning of the last one. The results showed a greater frontal cortical activation involving Theta frequency increasing after rTMS stimulation. These data were supported by VAS scores that showed increased values and a long-lasting time perception after capsaicin gel application compared to subjects who did not receive rTMS stimulation. DLPFC is usually related to sustaining attention, monitoring and control function. We supposed, compared with previous research, that these results may represent a significant modulation effect on the monitoring and control experiences, pain-related, after 5 Hz rTMS applied on the left DLPFC. The use of TMS paradigm may suggest a relevant role of DLPFC in monitoring and inhibition processes in pain experience. Nonetheless, they may hint at clinical interventions to relieve pain in chronic patients where non-invasive techniques may complement pharmacological treatment.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)130-130
Numero di pagine1
RivistaNeuropsychological Trends
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014
EventoXXII Congresso Nazionale della Società Italiana di Psicofisiologia - SIPF - Firenze
Durata: 27 nov 201429 nov 2014


  • Pain
  • TMS


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