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The influence of mindfulness on pain perception: Mindfulness training decreases the automatic orientation towards nociceptive stimuli

Strofer, Sabine (2012) The influence of mindfulness on pain perception: Mindfulness training decreases the automatic orientation towards nociceptive stimuli.

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Abstract:Objective: Determine the influence of mindfulness training and spatial attention on pain perception, by examining the early sensory processing (N1) of and the orienting response (P3a) towards nociceptive stimuli. Methods: Separate- sample pretest-posttest design was used. The treatment consisted of the mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR). Electrical stimuli of low (two pulses) or high intensity (five pulses) were presented on the right or left wrist. The stimulated wrist varied randomly from trial to trial. The to-be-attended site remained the same half of the experiment and varied randomly from trial to trial in the other half. Participants got the instruction to press a foot pedal when a stimulus of relevant intensity (varied between participants) occurred at the attended hand. EEG was recorded to extract the ERPs N1 and P3a, evoked by the electrical stimuli. ERPs and task performance were compared between the treatment and control group. Results: N1 was enhanced for attended as compared to unattended stimuli and P3a was enhanced for unattended as compared to attended stimuli. Both ERPs were enlarged for five-pulse stimuli as compared to two-pulse stimuli. P3a was higher in the control group than in the treatment group. Although this enhancement was most seen at unattended stimuli, the interaction between attention and group did not reach significance. No group difference was found on task performance. Conclusion: Mindfulness training reduces the automatic orientation towards pain stimuli. The attention capturing effect of pain stimuli thus can be reduced by mindfulness training. However, mindfulness does not affect early sensory processing of pain. Unlike expected, also spatial attention towards the pain stimuli was unrelated to these finding
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61802
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