Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Alex Thomas


Magnetic fields can affect behaviour in a variety of ways, in a manner that is dependent on the particulars of the magnetic field exposure. A specific pulsed magnetic field with analgesic properties was investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging with acute thermal pain. The functional activation of pain was significantly different pre/post exposure vs. a sham condition within areas of the brain associated with the affective component of pain, in particular the anterior cingulate and the right insula. Sleep was found to be a significant confound with a 45-minute exposure. This was the first time fMRI has been used as a tool to investigate bioelectromagnetics effects, and demonstrates that an MR system can be used for both image acquisition and exposure. This technique will have applications to functional tasks beyond the acute thermal pain tested here.