Attention to pain is processed at multiple cortical sites in man

Shinji Ohara, Nathan E. Crone, Nirit Weiss, Hagen Vogel, Rolf Detlef Treede, Fred A. Lenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Painful cutaneous laser stimuli evoked potentials (LEPs) were recorded over the primary somatosensory (SI), parasylvian, and medial frontal (MF) cortex areas in a patient with subdural electrode grids located over these areas for surgical treatment of epilepsy. The amplitudes of the negative (N2*) and positive (P2**) LEP peaks over SI, parasylvian, and MF cortex were enhanced by attention to (counting stimuli), in comparison with distraction from the stimulus (reading for comprehension). Late positive deflections following the P2** peak (late potential - LP) were recorded over MF and from the lateral premotor regions during attention but not during distraction. These findings suggest that attention gates both early (N2*) and late (P2**) pain-related input to SI, parasylvian, and MF cortical regions while the later components (LP) are specifically related to attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-517
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention to pain
  • Distributed cortical network
  • Epilepsy
  • Laser evoked potentials
  • Somatosensory cortex
  • Subdural electrode grids


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