Interaction between stimulus intensity and perceptual load in the attentional control of pain. Romero, Roa, Y., Straube, T., Nitsch, A., Miltner, W.&nbsp;H.<nbsp>R., & Weiss, T. 154(1):135--140. 00003 PMID: 23182624
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The interaction between intensity of nociceptive stimuli and cognitive load in a concomitant task is still a challenging and complex topic. Here, we investigated the interaction between top-down factors (i.e., perceptual load), induced by a visual task, and bottom-up factors (i.e., intensity of nociceptive stimuli that implicitly modifies saliency of input). Using a new experimental paradigm, in which perceptual load is varied while laser heat stimuli of different intensities are processed; we show a significant interaction between intensity of nociceptive stimuli and perceptual load on both pain ratings and task performance. High perceptual load specifically reduced intensity ratings of high intensity stimuli. However, under this condition, task performance was impaired, regardless of interindividual differences in motivation and pain catastrophizing. Thus, we showed that pain ratings can be reduced by increasing the load of attentional resources at the perceptual level of a non-pain-related task. Nevertheless, the disruptive effect of highly intensive nociceptive stimuli on the performance of the perceptual task was evident only under high load.
@article{ romero_interaction_2013,
  title = {Interaction between stimulus intensity and perceptual load in the attentional control of pain},
  volume = {154},
  issn = {1872-6623},
  doi = {10.1016/j.pain.2012.10.003},
  abstract = {The interaction between intensity of nociceptive stimuli and cognitive load in a concomitant task is still a challenging and complex topic. Here, we investigated the interaction between top-down factors (i.e., perceptual load), induced by a visual task, and bottom-up factors (i.e., intensity of nociceptive stimuli that implicitly modifies saliency of input). Using a new experimental paradigm, in which perceptual load is varied while laser heat stimuli of different intensities are processed; we show a significant interaction between intensity of nociceptive stimuli and perceptual load on both pain ratings and task performance. High perceptual load specifically reduced intensity ratings of high intensity stimuli. However, under this condition, task performance was impaired, regardless of interindividual differences in motivation and pain catastrophizing. Thus, we showed that pain ratings can be reduced by increasing the load of attentional resources at the perceptual level of a non-pain-related task. Nevertheless, the disruptive effect of highly intensive nociceptive stimuli on the performance of the perceptual task was evident only under high load.},
  pages = {135--140},
  number = {1},
  journaltitle = {Pain},
  shortjournal = {Pain},
  author = {Romero, Yadira Roa and Straube, Thomas and Nitsch, Alexander and Miltner, Wolfgang H. R. and Weiss, Thomas},
  date = {2013-01},
  note = {00003 {PMID}: 23182624},
  keywords = {Adult, Attention, Catastrophization, Child, Female, Hot Temperature, Humans, Male, Nociceptors, Pain Perception, Pain Threshold, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time},
  file = {Romero et al_2013_Pain_Interaction between stimulus intensity and perceptual load in the attentional.pdf:/home/kaiser/.mozilla/firefox/pewmj6w4.default/zotero/storage/FVGWGD25/Romero et al_2013_Pain_Interaction between stimulus intensity and perceptual load in the attentional.pdf:application/pdf}
}
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