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  • Fong et al_March2022_

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Attenuated alpha oscillation and hyperresponsiveness reveals impaired perceptual learning in migraineurs.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Chun Yuen Fong
  • Wai Him Crystal Law
  • Johannes Jacobus Fahrenfort
  • J. J. Braithwaite
  • Ali Mazaheri
Article number44
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>The Journal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Anomalous phantom visual perceptions coupled to an aversion and discomfort to some visual patterns (especially grating in mid-range spatial frequency) have been associated with the hyperresponsiveness in migraine patients. Previous literature has found fluctuations of alpha oscillation (8-14 Hz) over the visual cortex to be associated with the gating of the visual stream. In the current study, we examined whether alpha activity was differentially modulated in migraineurs in anticipation of an upcoming stimulus as well as post-stimulus periods.

Methods: We used EEG to examine the brain activity in a group of 28 migraineurs (17 with aura/11 without) and 29 non-migraineurs and compared their alpha power in the pre/post-stimulus period relative to the onset of stripped gratings.

Results: Overall, we found that migraineurs had significantly less alpha power prior to the onset of the stimulus relative to controls. Moreover, migraineurs had significantly greater post-stimulus alpha suppression (i.e event-related desynchronization) induced by the grating in 3 cycles per degree at the 2nd half of the experiment.

Conclusions: These findings taken together provide strong support for the presence of the hyperresponsiveness of the visual cortex of migraine sufferers. We speculate that it could be the consequence of impaired perceptual learning driven by the dysfunction of GABAergic inhibitory mechanism.