The goal of this study was to capture the electroencephalographic signature of experimentally induced pain and pain-modulating mechanisms after painful peripheral electrical stimulation to determine one or a selected group of electrodes at a specific time point with a specific frequency range. In the first experiment, ten healthy participants were exposed to stimulation of the right median nerve while registering brain activity using 32-channel electroencephalography. Electrical stimulations were organized in four blocks of 20 stimuli with four intensities - 100%, 120%, 140%, and 160% - of the electrical pain threshold. In the second experiment, 15 healthy participants received electrical stimulation on the dominant median nerve before and during the application of a second painful stimulus. Raw data were converted into the time-frequency domain by applying a continuous wavelet transform. Separated domain information was extracted by calculating Parafac models. The results demonstrated that it is possible to capture a reproducible cortical neural response after painful electrical stimulation, more specifically at 250 milliseconds poststimulus, at the midline electrodes Cz and FCz with predominant δ-oscillations. The signature of the top-down nociceptive inhibitory mechanisms is δ-activity at 235 ms poststimulus at the prefrontal electrodes. This study presents a methodology to overcome the a priori determination of the regions of interest to analyze the brain response after painful electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2675-2685
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, cortical mapping, painful electrical stimulation, quantitative electroencephalography, time-frequency-channel domain, Painful electrical stimulation, Electroencephalography, Parafac model, Conditioned pain modulation

ID: 35548555