memory capacity of the individual and their ability to effectively engage in the distraction technique. This study aims to extend on previous research pertaining to working memory capacity, distractibility and pain perception. The objective of this study is to observe the effect distraction has on altering pain perception relative to an individual’s working memory capacity. In this study we will utilize the operational span task (OSPAN) developed by Turner and Engle (1989) to split the participants into high and low working memory span groups dependent on their OSPAN scores. Participants will then engage in a simulated pain task under two conditions: distraction and no distraction. This study will include 40 participants; 20 in the low working memory span group and 20 in the high working memory span group. We expect that the low working memory span group will, on average, report higher pain ratings than the high working memory span group in the experimental (distraction) condition. We hope that this study will show that the inverse relationship between working memory and distractibility will have an effect on how people perceive pain. We hope that the current study will guide future research in exploring alternative non-pharmacological methods to relieve pain.
Keywords: working memory, OSPAN, pain perception, distractibility
Effect of Working Memory Capacity and Distraction on Pain Perception
There are times in our lives when we might experience pain that is inescapable
In this article, The Sting Of Intentional Pain by Kurt Gray and Daniel M. Wegner they offer an inside account of how intentional pain actually causes more pain than unintentional pain. These authors prove this through an experiment where forty three people came together, and were met with a study partner called a “confederate”. These individuals were then moved to individual rooms where they would be administered simple psychophysical test but primarily a discomfort assessment.
Psychological factors are known to contribute to how people experience and cope with pain. However, as people age, they experience normative age-related changes in psychological functioning. Thus, much of what is known about psychology and pain may not necessarily apply to older adults, unless it has specifically been tested in older populations. This is a particularly important point, because pain remains a major problem for millions of older adults. Furthermore, it is expected that the populations of older adults in America will increase significantly in the coming years, as people are living longer now that at any other point in history. Given that psychology changes across the lifespan, and that pain is a problem in older populations, this
To most people, pain is a nuisance, but to others pain controls their life. The feeling discomforts us in ways that can sometimes seem almost imaginable. These feelings can lead to many different side effects if not dealt with or diagnosed. These effects can include depression, anxiety, and incredible amount of stress. The truth about pain is that it is vital to our existence. Without the nervous system responding to pain, we would have no idea if we were touching a hot stove, being stuck by a porcupine’s needles, or something else that could leave a lasting effect upon our bodies without us even knowing anything about it.
Pain perception can be less than might be expected from the extent of a physical injury. This was proven by a scientist called Susana Bantick, Oxford University, and colleagues who carried out a study on the influence of attention distracting pain processing (Bantick et al, 2002). During the experiment, brain processing was measured by measuring brain activity using fMRI. Participants rated pain from 1-10 when noxious heat stimulus was applied to their hand in the scanner. She then followed the same process but gave them a task which required cognitive processing; reducing the amount of focused attention on pain. Bantick, therefore, showed attention distraction can reduce the amount of pain perceived by the individual, also pain processing to the brain was reduced. This provides vital evidence that pain perception does not just depend on the injury alone.
Assessing and managing the pain of the patient is critical in delivering quality care services, but what if the presenting individual has cognitive impairment? According to Fry, et. al. (2014), there is also evidence that cognitive impairment is a significant risk factor for analgesic delay. The immediate recognition of pain and the timely intervention is a
According to the Threat Interpretation Model proposed by Todd et al. (2015) recently, the degree of perceived threat of pain has an impact on whether an individual will demonstrate cognitive bias towards the stimuli. The association between perceived threat and cognitive bias is mediated by sustained attention. When threat is in medium level, chronic pain patients have difficult disengaging from pain-related stimuli while healthy individuals can disengage quickly in order to maintain positive mood. However, when the level of threat is either very low or very high, chronic pain patients tend to avoid pain-related stimuli, as proposed by fear-avoidant models (Todd et al., 2015). In the current study, pre-experiment ratings showed that ambiguous images were much less arousing than pain-related images. It is possible that lack of threat in ambiguous images precluded observable interpretation bias in chronic pain patients.
Comparing a Brief Self-as-Context Exercise to Control-Based and Attention Placebo Protocols for Coping with Induced Pain
I wanted to test how much distraction is pain relief to help people that are in
My Pain My brain, by Melanie Thernstrom, the story of dealing with pain is something I see daily in my work environment, Melanie is expressing a story of the pain that many people face daily. Such pain is chronic in this society with people not having health insurance and the lack of correct diagnosis. Some people will go to the doctor if maybe there are not feeling well having a bad cold or weakness, many of them don’t often go for brain pain, most feel that it will get better, having pain in the brain could be the result of many factor, such as depression, brain turmoil, or many other factor that cause the brain to hurt. Depression is one of those miss diagnose problem that goes un treated for many years. Doctors
The purpose of the study is to assess the immediate responsiveness of conditioned pain modulation (CPM; formerly known as diffuse noxious inhibition control or DNIC) as an outcome variable and its association with neck pain and global rating of change (GROC) in neck function among chronic neck pain sufferers between the 1st to 5th years from the onset of condition. Chronic neck pain is largely non-specific in nature and requires a biopsychosocial understanding of risk factors to mitigate their poor outcome. Practice guidelines highlight the importance of classifying these patients, which includes a biopsychosocial perspective for effective intervention (Cote et al 2016). Recent evidence also points to the success of personalized pain management that is anchored on specific neurophysiologic mechanism underpinning the pain experience of each individual (Nir and Yartniksy 2015). There is emerging evidence that simultaneously evaluating this neurophysiologic mechanism, along with biopsychosocial variables identified risk factors related to the development of chronic neck pain at one year (Shahidi et al 2015). There is extensive literature on pain and function outcome variables relating to biopsychosocial factors. In the past few years, there is growing evidence in the neurophysiologic mechanisms literature that includes CPM/DNIC’s validity and reliability in various chronic pain states. There is a call for CPM/DNIC to be used as outcome variable because it signifies the status
What is the role of the senses in the brain's perception of pain? Do people still experience pain with sensory deficits? How does each sense contribute to pain? Perception is the process of using cognitive abilities and experience to process incoming stimuli and formulate a response (Goldstein, 2010). A stimulus is something that occurs in the environment. Any object or situation, can be considered a stimulus or stimuli. Stimulus can be an action that is witnessed, such as with Ivan Pavlov's dogs. Pavlov used a chute to release dog food and facilitate the salivary response. Another example of a stimulus is a flying bird. The flying bird is perceived by the senses and our cognitive processes are what enable people to recognize
Start by taking deep breathes. Feel your stomach expanding and contracting as you breathe in and breathe out. As you breathe in imagine you are at home sitting in your couch. You now find yourself pondering about your past. The couch glows and you can see a memory from your past on it. This is a memory where you were bullied or hurt by someone in your childhood. You think of where the image was projected from. You then allow yourself to view the memory as it plays out but also not attach to your emotions.
“Change is pain” refers to the complex connection between the anatomy of individuals’ brains and human behavior that makes change almost impossible. According to Rock and Schwartz (2006), psychology and neuroscience research have gained a new perspective on how different areas of the brain determine human behavior. In particular, when individuals are exposed to situations that include changing a specific behavior, there are two main reasons that make changing the behavior a pain. One of these reasons relates to “the nature of human memory and its relationship to conscious attention” (Rock & Schwartz, 2006, p. 3). As per Rock and Schwartz (2006), routine activities that take place in the working memory area of individuals’ brain require less effort and energy from individuals to perform than new activities which takes place in the basal ganglia of the brain; for example, driving to work versus taking a standardized test (e.g., GRE, CPA,
Pain is something that connects all of us. From birth to death we can identify with each other the idea and arguably the perception of it. We all know we experience it, but what is more important is how we all perceive it. It is known that there are people out there with a ‘high’ pain tolerance and there are also ones out there with a ‘low’ pain tolerance, but what is different between them? We also know that pain is an objective response to certain stimuli, there are neurons that sense and feel pain and there are nerve impulses that send these “painful” messages to the brain. What we don’t know is where the pain
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage” (1979). Pain is actually the culprit behind warranting a visit to a physician office for many people (Besson, 1999). Notoriously unpleasant, pain could also pose a threat as both a psychological and economic burden (Phillips, 2006). Sometimes pain does happen without any damage of tissue or any likely diseased state. The reasons for such pain are poorly understood and the term used to describe such type of pain is “psychogenic pain”. Also, the loss of productivity and daily activity due to pain is also significant. Pain engulfs a trillion dollars of GDP for lost work time and disability payments (Melnikova, 2010). Untreated pain not only impacts a person suffering from pain but also impacts their whole family. A person’s quality of life is negatively impacted by pain and it diminishes their ability to concentrate, work, exercise, socialize, perform daily routines, and sleep. All of these negative impacts ultimately lead to much more severe behavioral effects such as depression, aggression, mood alterations, isolation, and loss of self-esteem, which pose a great threat to human society.