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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Nov 2020 - 27 Nov 2020


Human Studies




Freeze-like responses to pain in humans and its modulation by social context.


Karos K, Meulders A, Leyssen T, Vlaeyen JW
PeerJ. 2020; 8:e10094.
PMID: 33240593.


Maladaptive defensive responses such as excessive avoidance behavior have received increasing attention as a main mechanism for the development and maintenance of chronic pain complaints. However, another defensive response which is commonly studied in animals as a proxy for fear is freezing behavior. No research to date has investigated human freezing behavior in the context of pain. In addition, there is an increasing realization that social context can affect pain-relevant processes such as pain experience and pain behavior but less is known about the effects of social context on defensive responses to pain. Hence, this study investigated freezing behavior and facial pain expression in the context of pain, and their modulation by social context.