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Papers: 18 Dec 2021 - 24 Dec 2021


Human Studies

2021 Dec 23

Behav Neurosci

The effect of chronic pain on voluntary and involuntary capture of attention: An event-related potential study.


Gubler DA, Zeiss S, Egloff N, Frickmann F, Goetze B, Grosse Holtforth M, Harnik M, Streitberger K, Troche SJ
Behav Neurosci. 2021 Dec 23.
PMID: 34941318.


Although the interrupting effect of chronic pain on voluntary-directed attention is well-documented, research on the impact of chronic pain on involuntary-directed attention remains incomplete. This study aimed to investigate the influence of chronic pain on involuntary as well as voluntary allocation of attention as, respectively, indexed by the P3a and P3b components in the event-related potential derived from the electroencephalogram. Both involuntary and voluntary captures of attention were compared between 33 patients with chronic pain and 33 healthy controls using an auditory three-stimulus oddball task (with standard, target, and unexpected distractor tones). The results revealed a reduced P3a amplitude as well as a reduced P3b amplitude in patients with chronic pain compared to healthy controls, indicating a detrimental effect of chronic pain on involuntary and voluntary attention, respectively. This study extends the picture of the impairing effects of chronic pain on attentional allocation to a current task and attentional allocation to information outside the focus of attention. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).