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Poster C85

Migraine modulates neural synchrony during emotionally valenced naturalistic fMRI

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Keva Klamer1 (, Joshua Craig1, Christina Haines1, KiAnna Sullivan1, Chelsea Ekstrand1; 1University of Lethbridge

Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by painful headaches (Szabo et al., 2019). Migraineurs experience hypersensitivities to sensory stimuli due to cortical hyperexcitability, which also produces changes in emotional processing. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have found that migraineurs have increased neural activity in the cingulate gyrus and amygdala (Szabo et al., 2019) in response to negative emotional stimuli, however, how migraine impacts emotional processing in daily life remains unknown. Naturalistic stimuli mimic conditions in the “real world” and better represent our lived experience (Sonsukare et al., 2019). To examine differences in neural synchrony between migraineurs and controls in response to emotional naturalistic stimuli, we collected fMRI data from 17 participants with migraine and 26 healthy controls while they viewed three short films intended to elicit different emotions (i.e., positive valence, negative valence, and neutral valence). Intersubject correlation analyses (ISC) were performed for all unique pairs of participants within and between groups, and differences in ISC were calculated using linear mixed effects modelling. While watching the positive and negative films, migraineurs had heightened synchrony in regions associated with auditory and emotional processing, including the superior temporal gyrus and posterior cingulate cortex. Controls had heightened synchrony in regions associated with visual processing and threat detection, including the lateral occipital cortex and amygdala. This suggests that there are differences in how migraineurs process emotionally charged stimuli and provides a starting point for investigating how migraine impacts emotional processing.

Topic Area: METHODS: Neuroimaging


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April 13–16  |  2024