I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2024 - 31 May 2024

2024 May 23

Neurosci Biobehav Rev


The Autobiographical Memory System and Chronic Pain: A Neurocognitive Framework for the Initiation and Maintenance of Chronic Pain.


Waisman A, Katz J


Chronic pain affects approximately 20% of the world’s population (1), exerting a substantial burden on the affected individual, their families, and healthcare systems globally. Deficits in autobiographical memory have been identified among individuals afflicted with chronic pain, and even found to pose a risk for the transition to chronicity. Recent neuroimaging studies have simultaneously implicated common brain regions central to autobiographical memory processing in the maintenance of and susceptibility to chronic pain. The present review proposes a novel neurocognitive framework for chronic pain explained by mechanisms underlying the autobiographical memory system. Here, we 1) summarize the current literature on autobiographical memory in pain, 2) discuss the role of the hippocampus and cortical brain regions including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, anterior temporal lobe, and amygdala in relation to autobiographical memory, memory schemas, emotional processing, and pain, 3) synthesize these findings in a neurocognitive framework that explains these relationships and their implications for patients’ pain outcomes, and 4) propose translational directions for the prevention, management, and treatment of chronic pain.