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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jan 2022 - 14 Jan 2022


Human Studies

2022 Jan 07

Neurosci Lett

Cortical signature related to psychometric properties of pain vigilance in healthy individuals: a voxel-based morphometric study.


Nagasaka K, Otsuru N, Sato R, Watanabe H, Sakurai N, Ohno K, Kodama N, Onishi H
Neurosci Lett. 2022 Jan 07:136445.
PMID: 35007688.


The Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire (PVAQ) is a questionnaire for non-clinical and clinical cases of patients, such as those suffering from chronic pain. Moreover, it is used for evaluation of two aspects of habitual attention to pain: attention to pain and attention to changes in pain. As the PVAQ assesses two different aspects of attention function, different neural basis may present. However, it remains unclear which brain regions are involved. Here, we performed voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in 30 healthy participants to determine the regional morphology associated with the two attention states. Multiple regression analysis was conducted between each score and the regional grey matter (GM) volume, which revealed that a decreased GM volume in the left anterior insular cortex (AIC) was associated with a higher attention to pain score. In contrast, no brain region was correlated with the attention to changes in pain score. Our VBM results demonstrate that attention to pain scores assessed by PVAQ are associated with morphological features of the left AIC. Moreover, they may contribute to the elucidation of the complex psychological and neurophysiological characteristics of patients with chronic pain.