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This article is part of the supplement: Twenty First Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2012

Open Access Poster presentation

Dysfunction of cross-frequency phase-phase coupling in primary dysmenorrhea: a resting magnetoencephalographic study

Pin-Shiuan Lee1*, Yong-Sheng Chen2, Jen-Chuen Hsieh34 and Li-Fen Chen34

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Biomedical Informatics, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan

2 Department of Computer Science, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

3 Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan

4 Integrated Brain Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan

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BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13(Suppl 1):P168  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-S1-P168

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:16 July 2012

© 2012 Lee et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Poster presentation

Cross-frequency synchronization between neuronal ensembles has been studied recently, which is related to coupling between neuronal oscillations of different frequency contents [1]. This study aimed at the investigation of how cross-frequency phase-phase coupling of local network during rest is modulated by pain experience. Ten primary dysmenorrhea (PDM) females suffering lower abdominal pain during menstrual phase and ten age-matched healthy females were enrolled. Three-minute eye-open resting magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals of each individual during menstrual phase were recorded using a 306-channel MEG system. For each channel, synchronization value of cross-frequency coupling was estimated by calculating phase-locking statistics of phase differences between two frequency bands, including 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, and 40 Hz, respectively. The results of one-sample binomial test showed that in low alpha/beta (8 / 16 Hz) oscillations, the PDM group displayed coupling in the medial parietal area whereas no coupling in the control group (Figure 1(a)). On the other hand, coupling at the prefrontal area found in the NC group was not found in the PDM group. These two regions have been reported as part of resting state networks [2]. No difference of coupling between the PDM and control groups was found in other combinations of frequency pairs, for instance, high alpha/beta (Figure 1(b)) and beta/gamma (Figure 1(c)).

thumbnailFigure 1. Topography of different pairs of cross-frequency coupling between PDM and normal controls. The color represents significant level of phase-locking statistics at the respective channel for each group.


Our findings implicate that pain experience may modulate phase-phase coupling of alpha/beta oscillation, which might disrupt integration between nearby neural population in the human neocortex at rest.


This study was supported in part by the National Science Council (NSC 100-2629-B-010-001 and 100-2628-E-009-006) and Yen Tjing Ling Medical Foundation (CI-100-5).


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