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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Sep 2023 - 22 Sep 2023

Basic Science, Psychology

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Acute Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Sep 18

Biol Psychol


Neural mechanisms of priming effects of spicy food pictures induced analgesia.


Yang D, Jiang J, Li W, Zhang R, Sun L, Meng J


In this study, the effects of the priming of spicy food pictures on pain perception were evaluated in female participants using standardized methods of pain. Results from behavior tests revealed that the priming of spicy food pictures significantly reduced pain perception, particularly at high-pain intensities. Electrophysiological analysis showed that the analgesic effects of spicy food pictures were linked to decreased pain-related event-related potentials, such as N2 and P2 amplitudes, and suppressed θ-oscillations in the sensorimotor cortex. Both N2 amplitudes and θ-oscillations activities were found to be correlated with participants’ pain perception. These results suggest that spicy-arousal stimuli may act as an “antagonist” to the increase in N2 amplitudes and θ-oscillations power induced by pain and influence the neuronal networks involved in integrating spontaneous nociceptive resources, which supports the dissociation theory of pain sensation and affection. These findings highlight the potential use of spicy-arousal stimuli as an analgesic and emphasize the importance of considering both the intensity of the stimuli and the individual’s emotional state in the assessment and treatment of pain.