In this study, we have, for the first time, applied er-fMRI
to evaluate the brain correlates of acupuncture stimulation.
This approach has allowed us to link brain response to acupuncture
stimulation with synchronous ANS response,
thereby determining the brain circuitry underlying different
autonomic outflow patterns—e.g., decelerative (HR) versus
accelerative (HRþ) HR response. Different autonomic
outflow patterns may have meaningful implications on clinical
response to acupuncture [Sparrow, 2007] and we
hypothesized that different psychophysiological response
patterns, denoted by different ANS outflows, result from
different brain responses to acupuncture stimuli.