University of Twente Student Theses


Emotional pain modulation : an effect of emotion, attention or empathy for pain

Asma, L. (2008) Emotional pain modulation : an effect of emotion, attention or empathy for pain.

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Abstract:In this study it was explored whether pain perception is influenced by emotion, attention and / or empathy for pain using somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs). It was expected that valence effects will be found on the early negative peak of the SEP (N1) and attention effects were found on the later positive peak (P2). Furthermore, effects of arousal and empathy for pain can be expected, but the temporal characteristics of arousal and empathy for pain were not clear. Two stimulus intensities, painful and nonpainful, and three emotional conditions, pain-related, neutral and pleasant, were used. Nineteen students participated in the experiment (ten males, mean age 20.8). Emotional and neutral pictures (in total 120) of the IAPS and pain-related pictures from previous experiments were used. For N1, significant main effects of intensity and electrode were found. For P2, significant main effects of emotion, intensity en electrode were found, with highest amplitudes for neutral pictures. For both N1 and P2, activity was larger for painful stimuli. Electrophysiological source analysis shows that activity is found in SI/SII, multisensory cortex and ACC, with highest activation for painful conditions. This experiment showed that emotional pictures captured attention and therefore less attention was focused on the pain
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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