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The difference between transient and sustained attention on painful electrocutaneous stimulus evoked potentials

Beker, Douwe (2012) The difference between transient and sustained attention on painful electrocutaneous stimulus evoked potentials.

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Abstract:This study investigated the differences between sustained and transient attention in comparable conditions on electrocutaneous pain stimuli, using the P3a component of ERPs. The study was needed because of the absence of a good comparison between sustained and transient attention on pain. Blom and Van der Lubbe (in prep) and Blom, Wiering and Van der Lubbe (submitted) researched respectively transient and sustained attention concerning pain. They suggested a possible difference between sustained and transient attention, but both studies can’t be compared because of the differences in study designs. Participants carried out two types of tasks; a sustained and a transient attention task, both based on the Posner task. In both tasks electrocutaneous stimuli were presented to the right and left forearm of the participant. In the sustained attention task the participants had to focus their attention towards the same side (left or right forearm) the whole block. This in contrast to the transient condition, at which the participants were cued to focus their attention towards both sides randomly. To investigate possible differences on the effect of both ways of attention on the orienting response, the P3a component of ERPs was measured. Our study reveals no differences of the orienting response towards sustained and transient attention on pain perception. With these results we have overcome the obscurities that existed on the possible differences between sustained and transient attention on pain. The findings that orienting responses towards attended stimuli are significantly lower than towards unattended stimuli, corresponds with earlier studies.
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/61827
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