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The dorsal posterior insula subserves a fundamental role in human pain

Nature Neuroscience volume 18, pages 499500 (2015) | Download Citation

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  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 25 November 2015

This article has been updated

Abstract

Several brain regions have been implicated in human painful experiences, but none have been proven to be specific to pain. We exploited arterial spin-labeling quantitative perfusion imaging and a newly developed procedure to identify a specific role for the dorsal posterior insula (dpIns) in pain. Tract tracing studies in animals identify a similar region as fundamental to nociception, which suggests the dpIns is its human homolog and, as such, a potential therapeutic target.

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Change history

  • 26 March 2015

    In the version of this article initially published, the labels were reversed for the solid and dotted lines in Figure 2c. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

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Acknowledgements

We would also like to acknowledge F. Eippert, K. Wiech and M. Chappell for their insights into the work. The research was funded by the Medical Research Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, the Wellcome Trust, and the Innovative Medicines Initiative joint undertaking, under grant agreement no 115007, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) companies' in-kind contribution.

Author information

Author notes

    • Andrew R Segerdahl
    •  & Melvin Mezue

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB), Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

    • Andrew R Segerdahl
    • , Melvin Mezue
    • , Thomas W Okell
    •  & Irene Tracey
  2. Nuffield Division of Anesthetics, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

    • Andrew R Segerdahl
    • , Melvin Mezue
    •  & Irene Tracey
  3. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

    • John T Farrar

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Contributions

All authors designed the study. A.R.S., M.M. and J.T.F. collected the data. A.R.S. and M.M. analyzed the data. All authors interpreted the data. A.R.S., M.M. and I.T. wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the revisions.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew R Segerdahl.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3969

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