Expectancy of pain is influenced by motor preparation: A high-resolution EEG study of cortical alpha rhythms

Claudio Babiloni, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Andrew C N Chen, Alfredo Brancucci, Paolo Capotosto, Paolo Maria Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This high-resolution electroencephalographic (EEG) study on alpha event-related desynchronization (ERD) evaluated whether anticipatory activity precedes a sensorimotor interaction induced by concomitant painful stimuli and sensorimotor demand. An omitted-stimulus paradigm induced the expectancy of the painful stimulation at the left hand. In the experimental condition, the painful stimulation was associated with a visual go/no-go task triggering right-hand movements. Two control conditions manipulated the painful sensorimotor interaction variable. Compared with the control conditions, the expectancy of the painful sensorimotor interaction increased the high-band alpha EEG oscillations over the right primary sensorimotor cortex contralateral to the nociceptive stimuli and, to a lesser extent, over the centroparietal midline. These findings suggest that concomitant painful stimuli and simple sensorimotor go/no-go demands affect anticipatory activity as revealed by alpha ERD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Alpha rhythms
  • Central midline
  • Electroencephalography
  • Event-related desynchronization/ synchronization
  • Primary sensorimotor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Expectancy of pain is influenced by motor preparation: A high-resolution EEG study of cortical alpha rhythms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this