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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 Aug 2022 - 19 Aug 2022

2022 Aug 13


Peak alpha frequency as a candidate biomarker of pain sensitivity: the importance of distinguishing slow from slowing.



The study by Valentini et al (2022) observed that the peak alpha frequency (PAF) of participants became slower after they were exposed to painful, as well as non-painful but unpleasant stimuli. The authors interpreted this as a challenge to our previous studies which propose that the speed of resting PAF, independently of pain-induced changes to PAF, can be a reliable biomarker marker for gauging individual pain sensitivity. While investigations into the role that PAF plays in pain perception are timely, we have some concerns about the assumptions and methodology employed by Valentini et al. Moreover, we believe the authors here have also misrepresented some of our previous work. In the current commentary, we detail the critical differences between our respective studies, with the ultimate aim of guiding future investigations.