Pain Research and Management

The Application of Neuroimaging in Pain Research and Management

Publishing date
01 May 2022
Submission deadline
07 Jan 2022

Lead Editor

1Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China

2Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changsha, China

3Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA

This issue is now closed for submissions.
More articles will be published in the near future.

The Application of Neuroimaging in Pain Research and Management

This issue is now closed for submissions.
More articles will be published in the near future.


Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience with biological, psychological, and social consequences. Due to its highly complex physiopathological properties, many challenges remain in understanding and treating pain. Increasing evidence has suggested that pain is closely associated with aberrant neuroplasticity in the central nervous system (CNS), with functional and structural abnormalities of the entire extensive network, from the spinal cord to the subcortical structure and cerebral cortex, involved in the development, maintenance, and experience of pain.

The application of neuroimaging techniques to explore the mechanisms and treatment of pain is a growing area of research. Using this non-invasive tool, researchers have addressed the neural endophenotypes of many kinds of painful disorders from the perspectives of brain structure, function, and connectome. Furthermore, as an objective measurement, neuroimaging outcomes also provide new insights to advance our understanding of how medications, neuromodulations, and psychological treatments relieve pain.

This Special Issue focuses on pain research and management from a neuroimaging perspective, and we invite researchers to submit original research and in-depth review articles within this scope. We welcome studies on the central pathological signatures of painful disorders based on neuroimaging techniques, such as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), as well as studies using these tools to explore how pain is processed within the CNS and how the perception of pain is influenced by emotion, cognition, and expectation. We are particularly interested in longitudinal neuroimaging studies that reveal the potential central mechanisms of pain relief by effective interventions, including but not limited to medications, psychological treatments, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Additionally, the diagnosis and classification of painful disorders, as well as efficacy prediction of analgesic treatments based on neuroimaging features and machine learning will also be considered. Both human studies and animal experiments are welcomed. Studies based on healthy (e.g., experimental pain) and disease models (e.g., chronic pain) are encouraged in this Special Issue.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Central pathological signatures of chronic pain
  • Central pathological signatures of acute pain and experimental pain
  • Comparison of neural endophenotypes of different painful disorders
  • Neuroimaging for understanding the mechanisms of interactions between pain and emotion, memory, or cognition
  • Neuroimaging mechanisms of analgesic treatments
  • Neuroimaging-based pain diagnosis and classification
  • Neuroimaging-based efficacy prediction of pain interventions
  • Pain research based on machine learning and neuroimaging
  • Innovative neuroimaging technologies for pain research
Pain Research and Management
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate23%
Submission to final decision67 days
Acceptance to publication19 days
Journal Citation Indicator0.620
Impact Factor2.667

Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.