Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The experience of pain is subjectively different from the fear and anxiety caused by threats of pain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy humans was applied to dissociate neural activation patterns associated with acute pain and its anticipation. Expectation of pain activated sites within the medial frontal lobe, insular cortex, and cerebellum distinct from, but close to, locations mediating pain experience itself. Anticipation of pain can in its own right cause mood changes and behavioral adaptations that exacerbate the suffering experienced by chronic pain patients. Selective manipulations of activity at these sites may offer therapeutic possibilities for treating chronic pain.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1979 - 1981


Adult, Anxiety, Brain, Brain Mapping, Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, Cues, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Pain, Pain Measurement, Perception