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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Aug 2023 - 25 Aug 2023

Psychology, Review

Human Studies, Neurobiology


2023 Aug 16

Neurosci Biobehav Rev


Janus Effect of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex: Pain and Emotion.


Journée SH, Mathis VP, Fillinger C, Veinante P, Yalcin I


Over the past 20 years, clinical and preclinical studies point to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a site of interest for several neurological and psychiatric conditions. The ACC plays a critical role in emotion, autonomic regulation, pain processing, attention, memory and decision making. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the involvement of the ACC in the emotional component of pain and its comorbidity with emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. Thanks to the development of animal models combined with state-of-the-art technologies, we now have a better mechanistic understanding of the functions of the ACC. Hence, the primary aim of this review is to compile the most recent preclinical studies on the role of ACC in the emotional component and consequences of chronic pain. Herein, we thus thoroughly describe the pain-induced electrophysiological, molecular and anatomical alterations in the ACC and in its related circuits. Finally, we discuss the next steps that are needed to strengthen our understanding of the involvement of the ACC in emotional and pain processing.