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The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) comprises a set of interconnected regions that integrate information from affective sensory and social cues, long-term memory, and representations of the 'self'. Alhough the vmPFC is implicated in a variety of seemingly disparate processes, these processes are organized around a common theme. The vmPFC is not(More)
BACKGROUND Persistent pain is measured by means of self-report, the sole reliance on which hampers diagnosis and treatment. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) holds promise for identifying objective measures of pain, but brain measures that are sensitive and specific to physical pain have not yet been identified. METHODS In four studies(More)
Emotions have powerful effects on pain perception. However, the brain mechanisms underlying these effects remain largely unknown. In this study, we combined functional cerebral imaging with psychophysiological methods to explore the neural mechanisms involved in the emotional modulation of spinal nociceptive responses (RIII-reflex) and pain perception in(More)
The shared-representation model of empathy suggests that vicarious pain processes rely partly on the activation of brain systems underlying self-pain in the observer. Here, we tested the hypothesis that self-pain may be facilitated by the vicarious priming of neural systems underlying pain perception. Pictures illustrating painful agents applied to the hand(More)
Music is typically a pleasurable experience. But under certain circumstances, music can also be unpleasant, for example, when a young child randomly hits piano keys. Such unpleasant musical experiences have been shown to activate a network of brain structures involved in emotion, mostly located in the medial temporal lobe: the parahippocampal gyrus,(More)
Pain is associated with the activation of many brain areas involved in the multiple dimensions of the experience. Several of those brain areas may also contribute to the monitoring and regulation of autonomic activity but this aspect of pain responses has been largely overlooked in human imaging studies. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)(More)
The capacity of music to soothe pain has been used in many traditional forms of medicine. Yet, the mechanisms underlying these effects have not been demonstrated. Here, we examine the possibility that the modulatory effect of music on pain is mediated by the valence (pleasant-unpleasant dimension) of the emotions induced. We report the effects of listening(More)
Cognitive self-regulation can strongly modulate pain and emotion. However, it is unclear whether self-regulation primarily influences primary nociceptive and affective processes or evaluative ones. In this study, participants engaged in self-regulation to increase or decrease pain while experiencing multiple levels of painful heat during functional magnetic(More)
Pain is a primary driver of learning and motivated action. It is also a target of learning, as nociceptive brain responses are shaped by learning processes. We combined an instrumental pain avoidance task with an axiomatic approach to assessing fMRI signals related to prediction errors (PEs), which drive reinforcement-based learning. We found that pain PEs(More)
BACKGROUND The ability to self-report on affective experience is essential to both our everyday communication about emotion and our scientific understanding of it. However, the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms for how people construct statements even as simple as "I feel bad!" remain unclear. We examined whether the neural architecture underlying(More)