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Counterstimulation and pain perception effects of electrocutaneous vs. auditory stimulation upon cold pressor pain



Counterstimulation and pain perception effects of electrocutaneous vs. auditory stimulation upon cold pressor pain



Pain 35(3): 259-264



This study tested the hypothesis that distraction from a painful stimulus is best achieved by concurrent presentation of a similar stimulus. Specifically, it was hypothesized that pain perception would be interfered with, and thus reduced, when a stimulus similar to the sensory features of a painful stimulus was delivered concurrently. Subjects matched aversiveness thresholds for electrocutaneous or auditory stimulation so that both forms of stimulation could be judged to be subjectively of similar affective value. Subjects were then run in the cold pressor test for 2 min. While control subjects for each modality were not administered counterstimulation concurrently with cold pressor exposure, experimental subjects within each modality condition received concurrent counterstimulation. Magnitude estimation ratings of the aversiveness of counterstimulation were provided concurrently with cold pressor pain ratings, every 30 sec. The results indicated that, as predicted, subjects exposed to concurrent electrical stimulation produced lower pain ratings than subjects exposed to auditory stimulation and controls. In addition, a mutual interference effect between the cold pressor and the tactile counterstimulation was found: subjects also rated electrical stimulation as less aversive than auditory stimulation over the duration of the cold pressor test.

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Accession: 007165956

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3226755

DOI: 10.1016/0304-3959(88)90135-2


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