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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Mar 2024 - 15 Mar 2024


Adv Neurobiol



Fractal Similarity of Pain Brain Networks.


Fauchon C, Bastuji H, Peyron R, Garcia-Larrea L


The conscious perception of pain is the result of dynamic interactions of neural activities from local brain regions to distributed brain networks. Mapping out the networks of functional connections between brain regions that form and disperse when an experimental participant received nociceptive stimulations allow to characterize the pattern of network connections related to the pain experience. Although the pattern of intra- and inter-areal connections across the brain are incredibly complex, they appear also largely scale free, with “fractal” connectivity properties reproducing at short and long-time scales. Our results combining intracranial recordings and functional imaging in humans during pain indicate striking similarities in the activity and topological representation of networks at different orders of temporality, with reproduction of patterns of activation from the millisecond to the multisecond range. The connectivity analyzed using graph theory on fMRI data was organized in four sets of brain regions matching those identified through iEEG (i.e., sensorimotor, default mode, central executive, and amygdalo-hippocampal).Here, we discuss similarities in brain network organization at different scales or “orders,” in participants as they feel pain. Description of this fractal-like organization may provide clues about how our brain regions work together to create the perception of pain and how pain becomes chronic when its organization is altered.