Pain Research Meeting location:Marburg, Germany date:12-14 Oct 2012
According to the fear-avoidance model of chronic pain, pain-related fear is of great importance in the development and maintenance of chronic pain problems. It is a major contributor to severe dysfunction as it leads to avoidance behaviors and impaired physical activity.
However, although there is empirical support for the importance of associative learning in the acquisition of fear of movement-related pain, no study thus far as investigated the importance of a social dimension in this fear acquisition process. A key concept in this context is Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer (PIT), suggesting that stimuli that are predictive of specific outcomes (Pavlovian conditioning) bias the performance of instrumental responses that are associated with the same outcomes (Instrumental conditioning).
The goal of the proposed series of studies is to investigate the effect of social context on the acquisition of fear of movement-related pain.