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Activity in a brain area known as the dorsal posterior insula is directly related to the intensity of pain, a brain imaging study of 17 people has found.

Researchers at the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain used a new brain imaging technique to look at people experiencing pain over many hours. The results, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, show that activity in only one brain area, the dorsal posterior insula, reflected the participants' ratings of how much the pain hurt.

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