EEG frequency tagging to explore ongoing pain

Studies have shown that the periodic repetition or modulation of a stimulus can induce a sustained periodic EEG response at the frequency of stimulation and its harmonics, often referred to as steady-state evoked potential (SS-EP). Unlike event-related potentials (ERPs), which reflect phasic cortical activity triggered by a transient stimulus. SS-EPs reflect sustained cortical activity induced by the entrainment of neuronal populations responding to the stimulus. Our objective is to exploit this "EEG frequency-tagging" technique to explore the cortical activity underlying the perception of sustained pain in humans. This is achieved, for example, using a temperature-controlled CO2 laser stimulator to periodically activate heat-sensitive nociceptors of the skin. Using this technique, we showed that it is possible to isolate cortical activity specifically related to the activation of heat-sensitive C-fiber nociceptors.

Researchers involved : 

  • André Mouraux

  • Giulia Liberati

  • Dounia Mulders

  • Elisabeth Colon

Mulders D, de Bodt C, Lejeune N, Mouraux A, Verleysen M. In: Deville Y, Gannot S, Mason R, Plumbley M, Ward D (eds). Latent Variable Analysis and Signal Separation LVA/ICA 2018; Lecture notes in Computer Science, vol 10891. Springer. [PDF]

Colon E, Nozaradan S, Legrain V, Mouraux A. Neuroimage (2011); 60(1):571-581. [PDF]

Mouraux A, Iannetti GD, Colon E, Legrain V, Nozaradan S, Plaghki L. J Neurosci (2011); 31(16): 6079-87. [PDF]

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Institute of Neuroscience (IONS) - Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)