Brain’s “pain map” pinpoints where it hurts

Brain’s "pain map" pinpoints where it hurts

Brain’s “pain map” pinpoints where it hurts.

Scientists have unlocked details of the brain’s “pain map” for the hand, and say the findings may shed light on the processes at work in chronic pain.

Using an fMRI brain imaging technique originally created to map the visual field, researchers were able to distinguish the brain’s responses to painful laser heat stimuli on each finger in seven healthy participants, and to study their organization in the brain.

This enabled the team to produce a fine-grained map showing how pain in the right hand results in certain parts of the brain being activated in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area in the left hemisphere of the brain which is involved in processing bodily information.