Pain and emotion interactions in subregions of the cingulate gyrus

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Jul;6(7):533-44. doi: 10.1038/nrn1704.


Acute pain and emotion are processed in two forebrain networks, and the cingulate cortex is involved in both. Although Brodmann's cingulate gyrus had two divisions and was not based on any functional criteria, functional imaging studies still use this model. However, recent cytoarchitectural studies of the cingulate gyrus support a four-region model, with subregions, that is based on connections and qualitatively unique functions. Although the activity evoked by pain and emotion has been widely reported, some view them as emergent products of the brain rather than of small aggregates of neurons. Here, we assess pain and emotion in each cingulate subregion, and assess whether pain is co-localized with negative affect. Amazingly, these activation patterns do not simply overlap.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / cytology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Nociceptors / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology*