Poster Session F, Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Dissociating the neural representations of tactile and hedonic information.
James H. Kryklywy1, Mana R. Ehlers1, Andre O. Beukers2, Sarah M. Moore1, Rebecca M. Todd1, Adam K. Anderson3; 1University of British Columbia, 2Princeton University, 3Cornell University
With the increasing development of multivariate analyses for neuroimaging data, we are beginning to get an deeper and more intricate understanding of how mental states manifest as specific patterns of neural activation. Recent work has outlined activation patterns associated with hedonic and tactile pain representation, yet the degree to which this is overlapping or independent of positive hedonic value and stimulation remains unknown. In the current study, functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected from 67 participants from Cornell University, who received tactile stimulation to induce painful or pleasurable experience. Representational similarity analyses conducted on BOLD signal from six regions of interest identified the similarity of neural representation across pressure-pain, appetitive brushing and null trials. The resulting similarity matrices were tested against 9 unique theoretical models of potential hedonic and tactile responding to determine the contribution of each area to phenomenological mental states. Of particular note, by individually titrating pain-pressure to a constant hedonic value across participants, while holding appetitive tactile stimulation consistent (with varied hedonic liking), we are able to disembed tactile and hedonic value with unprecedented accuracy. Results demonstrate unique contributions from primary somatosensory cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and insula to both modeled factors. This work gives unique insight into the integration of sensory and affective experience and suggests that while dissociable brain areas may contribute to each experiential feature, there is also great deal of interaction and codependence within these systems.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Self perception