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The anticipation of pain modulates spatial attention: evidence for pain-specificity in high-pain catastrophizers


Reference:

Van Damme, S., Crombez, G. and Eccleston, C., 2004. The anticipation of pain modulates spatial attention: evidence for pain-specificity in high-pain catastrophizers. Pain, 111 (3), pp. 392-399.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2004.07.022

Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that the anticipation of pain may modulate spatial attention. However, it is possible that this modulation reflects a general effect of anticipating somatosensory stimulation, without being pain-specific. In the present study, we therefore compared the effect of the anticipation of somatosensory stimulation on spatial attention between two groups, using conditioned signals in a spatial cueing paradigm. In the pain group, signals predicted painful electrocutaneous stimulation, whereas in the control group, signals predicted non-painful vibrotactile stimulation. Tests between both groups showed that attentional engagement was equally facilitated by the anticipation of somatosensory stimulation in both groups. Interestingly, disengagement of attention was more retarded by the anticipation of pain than by the anticipation of non-painful vibrotactile stimulation in participants high in catastrophic thinking about pain. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsVan Damme, S., Crombez, G. and Eccleston, C.
DOI10.1016/j.pain.2004.07.022
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Health
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code6581
Additional InformationID number: ISI:000224313700022

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