Killam Seminar Series: Principles of Nociceptive Coding in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 16:00to17:00
Montreal Neurological Institute de Grandpre Communications Centre, 3801 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA

Supported by the generosity of the Killam Trusts, the MNI's Killam Seminar Series invites outstanding guest speakers whose research is of interest to the scientific community at the MNI and McGill University.

To attend in person, register (here)

To watch virtually, click (here)

Thomas Nevian, PhD

Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Bern, Switzerland

Host: Philippe Séguéla

Abstract: The perception of pain is a multidimensional sensory and emotional/affective experience arising from distributed brain activity. However, the involved brain regions are not specific for pain. Thus, how the cortex distinguishes nociception from other aversive and salient sensory stimuli remains elusive. Additionally, the consequences of the plastic changes that induce chronic neuropathic pain on sensory processing have not been characterized properly. Using in vivo miniscope calcium imaging with cellular resolution in freely moving mice, we studied the principles of nociceptive and sensory coding in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a region essential for pain processing. We found that population activity, not single-cell responses, allowed discriminating noxious from other sensory stimuli, ruling out the existence of nociception-specific neurons. Additionally, single-cell stimulus selectivity was highly dynamic over time, but stimulus representation at the population level remained stable. Peripheral nerve injury-induced chronic neuropathic pain led to dysfunctional encoding of sensory events by exacerbation of responses to innocuous stimuli and impairment of pattern separation and stimulus classification, which were restored by analgesic treatment. Furthermore, I will discuss the influence of afferent pathways to the ACC that contribute to nociceptive processing and behavioral decision-making in pain.

The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



Facebook instagram x, formerly known as twitter linkedIn youtube

Back to top