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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.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Neurosci

Publication Date





499 - 500


Adult, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Pain, Pain Measurement, Pain Perception, Spin Labels, Young Adult