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  • 1.
    Perini, Irene
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Gustafsson, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
    Hamilton, Paul
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Kämpe, Robin
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Zetterqvist, Maria
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
    Heilig, Markus
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Psychiatry.
    The salience of self, not social pain, is encoded by dorsal anterior cingulate and insula2018In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 6165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The human neural correlates of social rejection have attracted significant research interest, but remain subject to vigorous debate. Specifically, it has been proposed that a matrix of brain regions overlapping with the classical pain matrix, and including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the anterior insular cortex (AI) is critical for processing of social rejection. The present study expands on this conceptualization, by showing that these areas are involved in processing of self-relevant social evaluation, irrespective of valence. Forty healthy adolescents (N = 20 females) were tested in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. We used a novel paradigm that balanced participants experience of rejection and acceptance. In addition, the paradigm also controlled for whether the social judgment was towards the participants or towards other fictitious players. By creating a "self" and "other" distinction, we show that right AI and dACC are involved in processing the salience of being judged by others, irrespective of the quality of this judgment. This finding supports the idea that these regions are not specific to social rejection or even to pain or metaphorically painful experiences, but activate to self-relevant, highly salient information.

  • 2.
    Perini, Irene
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Tavakoli, Mitra
    University of Manchester, England; National Institute Health Research Collaborat Leadership Appl Hlt, England; University of Exeter, England.
    Marshall, Andrew
    Salford Royal Hospital NHS Trust, England; University of Manchester, England; Liverpool John Moores University, England.
    Minde, Jan
    Umeå University Hospital, Sweden.
    Morrison, India
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rare human nerve growth factor-beta mutation reveals relationship between C-afferent density and acute pain evaluation2016In: Journal of Neurophysiology, ISSN 0022-3077, E-ISSN 1522-1598, Vol. 116, no 2, p. 425-430Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The rare nerve growth factor-beta (NGFB) mutation R221W causes a selective loss of thinly myelinated fibers and especially unmyelinated C-fibers. Carriers of this mutation show altered pain sensation. A subset presents with arthropathic symptoms, with the homozygous most severely affected. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between peripheral afferent loss and pain evaluation by performing a quantification of small-fiber density in the cornea of the carriers, relating density to pain evaluation measures. In vivo corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) was used to quantify C-fiber loss in the cornea of 19 R221W mutation carriers (3 homozygous) and 19 age-matched healthy control subjects. Pain evaluation data via the Situational Pain Questionnaire (SPQ) and the severity of neuropathy based on the Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS) were assessed. Homozygotes, heterozygotes, and control groups differed significantly in corneal C-nerve fiber density, with the homozygotes showing a significant afferent reduction. Importantly, peripheral C-fiber loss correlated negatively with pain evaluation, as revealed by SPQ scores. This study is the first to investigate the contribution of small-fiber density to the perceptual evaluation of pain. It demonstrates that the lower the peripheral small-fiber density, the lower the degree of reported pain intensity, indicating a functional relationship between small-fiber density and higher level pain experience.

  • 3.
    Perini, Irene
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Morrison, India
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Olausson, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.
    Seeking pleasant touch: neural correlates of behavioral preferences for skin stroking2015In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5153, E-ISSN 1662-5153, Vol. 9, no 8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Affective touch is a dynamic process. In this fMRI study we investigated affective touch by exploring its effects on overt behavior. Arm and palm skin were stroked with a soft brush at five different velocities (0.3, 1, 10, 3, and 30 cm s(-1)), using a novel feedback-based paradigm. Following stimulation in each trial, participants actively chose whether the caress they would receive in the next trial would be the same speed ("repeat") or different ("change"). Since preferred stroking speeds should be sought with greater frequency than non-preferred speeds, this paradigm provided a measure of such preferences in the form of active choices. The stimulation velocities were implemented with respect to the differential subjective pleasantness ratings they elicit in healthy subjects, with intermediate velocities (1, 10, and 3 cm s(-1)) considered more pleasant than very slow or very fast ones. Such pleasantness ratings linearly correlate with changes in mean firing rates of unmyelinated low-threshold C-tactile (CT) afferent nerves in the skin. Here, gentle, dynamic stimulation optimal for activating CT-afferents not only affected behavioral choices, but engaged brain regions involved in reward-related behavior and decision-making. This was the case for both hairy skin of the arm, where CTs are abundant, and glabrous skin of the palm, where CTs are absent. These findings provide insights on central and behavioral mechanisms underlying the perception of affective touch, and indicate that seeking affective touch involves value-based neural processing that is ultimately reflected in behavioral preferences.

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