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Dec 15, 2005

Combined use of fMRI and VR to teach pain control

A paper published on Proceedings of National Academy of Science describes results of an experiment, in which virtual reality is used in combination with fMRI to teach subjects to control pain perception. A display inside the fMRImachine depicted a flame whose intensity reflected the activity of participants rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), a brain region that is known to be involved in pain perception. Results showed that the better participants controlled their rACC activity, the better they controlled their pain. By contrast, participants included in a control group without fMRI feedback, failed to control their pain.

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