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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Aug 2019 - 9 Aug 2019


Human Studies

2020 Jan

Health Psychol



Working memory and visual discrimination distraction tasks improve cold pressor pain tolerance in children.


Dahlquist LM, Gaultney WM, Bento SP, Steiner EM, Zeroth JA, Parr NJ, Quiton RL
Health Psychol. 2020 Jan; 39(1):10-20.
PMID: 31380682.


Distraction is a well-established pain management technique for children experiencing acute pain, although the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of distraction are not well understood. It has been postulated that engagement of executive functions, such as working memory, may be a critical factor in attenuating pain via distraction. To test this hypothesis, we compared a 1-back task requiring engagement of working memory with a simple visual discrimination task demanding focused attention, but lower cognitive load (0-back).