Selective attention and avoidance of pain-related stimuli: A dot-probe evaluation in a pain-free population
Roelofs, Jeffrey Peters, Madelon L. van der Zijden, Marianne Thielen, Frans G. J. M. Vlaeyen, Johannes # ×
The Journal of Pain vol:4 issue:6 pages:322-328
The present study investigated selective attention and avoidance of pain-related stimuli by applying a dot-probe paradigm to healthy university students. The study consisted of 2 successive experiments. The first experiment, a direct replication of a previous study, failed to find evidence for the presence of attentional bias toward pain-related words in highly fearful individuals compared to those who were low in pain-related fear. A second experiment was set up to examine whether avoidance of pain stimuli was influenced by presentation time of word pairs and to investigate the effects of gender on processing pain-related stimuli. The results from the second experiment showed that presentation time of words, fear of pain scores, and gender in isolation or in interaction with each other did not significantly influence attention to and avoidance of pain-related stimuli. Implications of the results are discussed, and directions for future research are provided.