Document Detail

Affective modulation of eyeblink reactions to noxious sural nerve stimulation: a supraspinal measure of nociceptive reactivity?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17920144     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Research suggests affective picture-viewing modulates subjective and physiological reactions to noxious stimulation (pain report, heart rate acceleration, skin conductance response, nociceptive flexion reflex). Because the nociceptive flexion reflex (a spinal reflex) is modulated by picture-viewing, this suggests affective processes are able to modulate afferent nociception at spinal levels. This highlights the importance of assessing nociceptive reactivity from physiological measures mediated at different levels of the neuraxis (spinal vs. supraspinal) to help elucidate the mechanisms associated with pain regulation. The present study examined whether affective pictures modulate eyeblink reactions (a supraspinal reflex) to noxious stimulation. Healthy men and women (N=23) were recruited from the psychology subject pool to participate. Pictures (attack, loss, neutral, food, erotica) that manipulated affective valence and arousal were presented and noxious electrodermal stimulations were delivered to the sural nerve. Picture duration (500-ms vs. 6-s) was also manipulated, balanced across picture content. Results suggested affective valence and arousal contributed to the modulation of eyeblinks. Eyeblinks were larger during highly arousing unpleasant pictures (attack) than highly arousing pleasant pictures (erotica), but low arousal pictures (loss, food) did not lead to significant modulation. Affective modulation was independent of picture duration or the perceived painfulness of noxious stimulation. This study suggests eyeblink reactions can serve as a supraspinal outcome in procedures used to study affective modulation of pain and nociception.
Amy E Williams; Jamie L Rhudy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-09-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology     Volume:  66     ISSN:  0167-8760     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Psychophysiol     Publication Date:  2007 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-12-06     Completed Date:  2008-03-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8406214     Medline TA:  Int J Psychophysiol     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  255-65     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, The University of Tulsa, 600 South College, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Affect / physiology*
Analysis of Variance
Blinking / physiology*
Electric Stimulation / adverse effects
Electromyography / methods
Nociceptors / physiopathology*
Pain Measurement
Photic Stimulation / methods
Reaction Time / physiology*
Skin / innervation
Sural Nerve / physiology*
Time Factors

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