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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Jun 2019 - 28 Jun 2019

Human Studies

2019 Aug 01

J Neurophysiol



Stepwise increasing sequential offsets cannot be used to deliver high thermal intensities with little or no perception of pain.


Derbyshire SWG, Long V J E, Asplund CL
J Neurophysiol. 2019 Aug 01; 122(2):729-736.
PMID: 31242398.


Offset analgesia (OA) is the disproportionate decrease in pain experience following a slight decrease in noxious heat stimulus intensity. Here we tested whether sequential offsets would allow noxious temperatures to be reached with little or no perception of pain. Forty-eight participants continuously rated their pain experience during trials containing trains of heat stimuli delivered by peltier thermode. Stimuli were adjusted through either step-wise sequential increases of 2 C and decreases of 1 C or direct step increases of 1 C, up to a maximum of 46 C. Step durations (1, 2, 3, or 6 s) varied by trial. Pain ratings generally followed presented temperature, regardless of step condition or duration. For 6 s steps, offset analgesia was observed after each decrease, but the overall pain trajectory was unchanged. We found no evidence that sequential offsets could allow for little pain perception during noxious temperature presentation.