The influence of spatial attention on pain perception

Braukmann, Ricarda (2010) The influence of spatial attention on pain perception.

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Abstract:This study investigated the effects of spatial attention on pain perception. 16 healthy participants (mean age 22) received either high or low intensity painful electrical stimulation on either their right or left upper forearms. A cue predicted the correct location in 80% of the cases and participants were instructed to classify the received stimulus as either high or low. Earlier research suggested that attention modulated early perceptual processes in painful stimuli. In this study, a decrease in reaction time in the attended trials was found which was in line with the assumption that attention would modulate the pain perception. On the contrary, using Signal Detection Theory, no change in sensitivity was found, indicating no effect of attention. It was concluded that there was evidence for an influence of attention on the perception of painful stimuli but that the results were dissonant which makes further research necessary.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/59860
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