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2022 May 16

Int J Psychophysiol

Central nervous activity during an emotional Stroop task in fibromyalgia syndrome.


Fischer-Jbali LR, Montoro CI, Montoya P, Halder W, Duschek S
Int J Psychophysiol. 2022 May 16.
PMID: 35588963.


Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition of widespread pain accompanied by symptoms like depression, fatigue and cognitive impairments. In addition to central nervous pain sensitization, emotional dysregulation may be involved in FMS pathogenesis. This study investigated emotional influences on cognitive processing in FMS. Event-related potentials and theta oscillations were recorded during an emotional Stroop task including positive, negative, and neutral adjectives in 36 FMS patients and 35 controls. Patients had larger P3 amplitudes and greater theta power than controls, independent of the emotional word content. In patients, but not controls, negative words were associated with a larger late positive component (LPC) amplitude than positive words. No group difference was seen for P1, early posterior negativity or N4. Reaction times (RTs) were longer in patients than controls, independent of emotional word content. The P3 and theta oscillation findings suggest greater cognitive effort and attentional mobilization in FMS, which is needed to overcome the reduction of attentional resources resulting from central nervous pain sensitization. Although RTs do not support attentional bias in FMS, emotional modulation of the LPC amplitude may reflect preferential central nervous processing of negative information, which could contribute to pain and affective symptoms characterizing FMS. ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA: The research data of the study are available to the public via the Open Science Framework repository (OSF: https://osf.io/tsyre/).