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Measuring brain activity in infants provides an objective surrogate approach with which to infer pain perception following noxious events. Here we discuss different approaches which can be used to measure noxious-evoked brain activity, and discuss how these measures can be used to assess the analgesic efficacy of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. We review factors that can modulate noxious-evoked brain activity, which may impact infant pain experience, including gestational age, sex, prior pain, stress, and illness.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin Fetal Neonatal Med

Publication Date





Analgesia, Clinical trials, Development, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Evoked potentials, Facial expressions, Magnetic resonance imaging, Near-infrared spectroscopy, Neonate, Neuroimaging, Nociception, Pain measurement, Analgesics, Opioid, Anesthetics, Local, Brain, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Evoked Potentials, Gestational Age, Humans, Infant Behavior, Infant, Newborn, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Morphine, Nociception, Pain Measurement, Sex Factors, Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared, Stress, Psychological, Sucrose, Touch