Cerebral processes contribute to pain beyond the level of nociceptive input and mediate psychological and behavioural influences. However, cerebral contributions beyond nociception are not yet well characterized, leading to a predominant focus on nociception when studying pain and developing interventions. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging combined with machine learning to develop a multivariate pattern signature—termed the stimulus intensity independent pain signature-1 (SIIPS1)—that predicts pain above and beyond nociceptive input in four training data sets (Studies 1–4, N¼137). The SIIPS1 includes patterns of activity in nucleus accumbens, lateral prefrontal and parahippocampal cortices, and other regions. In cross-validated analyses of Studies 1–4 and in two independent test data sets (Studies 5–6, N¼46), SIIPS1 responses explain variation in trial-by-trial pain ratings not captured by a previous fMRI-based marker for nociceptive pain. In addition, SIIPS1 responses mediate the pain-modulating effects of three psychological manipulations of expectations and perceived control. The SIIPS1 provides an extensible characterization of cerebral contributions to pain and specific brain targets for interventions.
Woo, Choong-Wan; Schmidt, Liane; Krishnan, Anjali; Jempa, Marieke; Roy, Mathieu; Lindquist, Martin A.; Atlas, Lauren Y.; and Wager, Tor D., "Quantifying Cerebral Contributions to Pain beyond Nociception" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.