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Sub-optimal presentation of painful facial expressions enhances readiness for action and pain perception following electrocutaneous stimulation
Research Group on Health Psychology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Laboratory of Research on Neuropsychology of Pain, University of Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada.
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9462-0256
Department of Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
Research Group on Health Psychology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
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2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Observation of others' painful facial expressions has been shown to facilitate behavioral response tendencies and to increase pain perception in the observer. However, in previous studies, expressions were clearly visible to the observer and none of those studies investigated the effect of presence of peripheral stimulation on response tendencies. This study focuses on the effect of sub-optimal presentation of painful facial expressions in the presence and absence of an electrocutaneous stimulus. Twenty-two healthy individuals categorized arrow targets which were preceded by a sub-optimally presented facial expression (painful, happy, or neutral in different blocks). On half of the trials, aversive electrocutaneous stimulation was delivered to the wrist of the non-dominant hand between the presentation of facial expression and target (an arrow directing to right or left). Participants' task was to indicate direction of the arrow as soon as it appears on the screen by pressing the corresponding key on the keyboard and to rate their pain at the end of block. Analysis showed that responses were faster to targets preceded by aversive stimulation than to targets not preceded by stimulation, especially following painful expressions. Painfulness ratings were higher following painful expressions than following happy expressions. These findings suggest that sub-optimally presented painful expressions can enhance readiness to act to neutral, non-pain-related targets after aversive stimulation and can increase pain perception.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 6
Keyword [en]
painful facial expressions, observation of pain, sub-optimal processing, action readiness, pain perception
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45537DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00913ISI: 000357628400002PubMedID: 26217260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-45537DiVA: diva2:845665
Note

Funding Agencies:

Interfaculty council for development (IRO) at KU Leuven

"Ministere de l'Education, du Loisir et du Sport" of Canda (MELS)

Odysseus Grant "the Psychology of Pain and Disability Research Program" - Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen, Belgium)

Ccareer-building research position at Örebro University

Research Foundation Flanders (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen) G023213N

Available from: 2015-08-12 Created: 2015-08-12 Last updated: 2015-08-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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