Acupuncture reveals no specific effect on primary auditory cortex: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study Academic Article uri icon

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  • Although acupuncture is effective in the treatment of several clinical conditions, its specificity has been questioned. We studied the effects of needle stimulation applied to 'ear-specific' acupuncture point GB43 on activations in primary auditory cortex using functional magnetic resonance imaging in comparison with sham acupuncture. Twenty healthy volunteers participated in this cross-over investigation. Multi-subject analysis showed no significant activations in the gyrus of Heschl during stimulation of the GB43 point or a sham point. In single-subject analysis, activation within the primary auditory cortex was seen in two out of 20 volunteers. We found no evidence for specificity of acupuncture point GB43 in relation to primary auditory activation, previously suggested by two independent research groups.


  • Wesolowski, Toni
  • Lotze, Martin
  • Domin, Martin
  • Langner, Sonke
  • Lehmann, Christian
  • Wendt, Michael
  • Usichenko, Taras

publication date

  • January 28, 2009