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The pain alarm response - an example of how conscious awareness shapes pain perception
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
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Number of Authors: 82019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 12478Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pain is subjective and largely shaped by context, yet, little is known about the boundaries for such influences, in particular in relation to conscious awareness. Here, we investigated processing of noxious stimuli during sleep. Four experiments were performed where participants (n = 114) were exposed to repetitions of noxious heat, either when awake or during sleep. A test-phase followed where participants were awake and exposed to painful stimuli and asked to rate pain. Two control experiments included only the test-phase, without any prior pain exposures. Participants in the awake condition rated all test-phase stimuli the same. Conversely, participants who had been sleeping, and thus unaware of getting noxious heat, displayed heightened pain during the first part of the test-phase. This heightened reaction to noxious stimuli-a pain alarm response-was further pronounced in the control conditions where participants were naive to noxious heat. Results suggest that the pain alarm response is partly dependent on conscious awareness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 9, article id 12478
National Category
Neurology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175106DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-48903-wISI: 000482886700032PubMedID: 31462697OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175106DiVA, id: diva2:1362510
Available from: 2019-10-21 Created: 2019-10-21 Last updated: 2019-10-21Bibliographically approved

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