Brodmann area 10: Collating, integrating and high level processing of nociception and pain

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Abstract

Multiple frontal cortical brain regions have emerged as being important in pain processing, whether it be integrative, sensory, cognitive, or emotional. One such region, Brodmann Area 10 (BA 10), is the largest frontal brain region that has been shown to be involved in a wide variety of functions including risk and decision making, odor evaluation, reward and conflict, pain, and working memory. BA 10, also known as the anterior prefrontal cortex, frontopolar prefrontal cortex or rostral prefrontal cortex, is comprised of at least two cytoarchitectonic sub-regions, medial and lateral. To date, the explicit role of BA 10 in the processing of pain hasn't been fully elucidated. In this paper, we first review the anatomical pathways and functional connectivity of BA 10. Numerous functional imaging studies of experimental or clinical pain have also reported brain activations and/or deactivations in BA 10 in response to painful events. The evidence suggests that BA 10 may play a critical role in the collation, integration and high-level processing of nociception and pain, but also reveals possible functional distinctions between the subregions of BA 10 in this process.

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