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Attentional processing of itch

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Abstract
Itch is a prevalent somatosensory symptom that can be highly disabling, because it is likely to draw attention and, as a result, may interfere with the performance of daily activities. Yet, research experimentally investigating attention to itch is lacking. In this study we aimed to investigate attentional processing of itch using multiple behavioral attention tasks. Forty-one healthy participants performed (1) a modified Stroop task with itch-related words, (2) a dot-probe task with itch-related pictures, and (3) a recently developed somatosensory attention task in which the effect of experimentally induced itch on the localization of visual targets was examined. Additionally, a number of self-report questionnaires related to somatosensory attentional processing were administered. Results indicated that participants' attention was biased toward itch-related words and pictures assessed by means of the dot-probe and modified Stroop task, respectively. For the somatosensory attention task, results showed that itch did not significantly influence the allocation of attention. However, when taking into account the time course of attention during the itch stimulus, data suggested that participants tended to disengage attention away during the itch stimulus. This is the first study that indicates an attentional bias for itch, using methods that have previously been validated for other sensations such as pain. In addition, the newly developed somatosensory attention task may reflect the time course of attention toward a tonic itch stimulus.
Keywords
PAIN-RELATED INFORMATION, CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN, AWARENESS QUESTIONNAIRE, DEPRESSION SCALE, HOSPITAL ANXIETY, FEAR-AVOIDANCE, BIAS, POPULATION, VIGILANCE, STROOP

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Citation

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MLA
van Laarhoven, AIM, et al. “Attentional Processing of Itch.” PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG, vol. 82, no. 5, 2018, pp. 876–88.
APA
van Laarhoven, A., Van Damme, S., Lavrijsen, A., Van Ryckeghem, D., Crombez, G., & Evers, A. (2018). Attentional processing of itch. PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG, 82(5), 876–888.
Chicago author-date
Laarhoven, AIM van, Stefaan Van Damme, APM Lavrijsen, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Geert Crombez, and AWM Evers. 2018. “Attentional Processing of Itch.” PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG 82 (5): 876–88.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
van Laarhoven, AIM, Stefaan Van Damme, APM Lavrijsen, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Geert Crombez, and AWM Evers. 2018. “Attentional Processing of Itch.” PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG 82 (5): 876–888.
Vancouver
1.
van Laarhoven A, Van Damme S, Lavrijsen A, Van Ryckeghem D, Crombez G, Evers A. Attentional processing of itch. PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG. 2018;82(5):876–88.
IEEE
[1]
A. van Laarhoven, S. Van Damme, A. Lavrijsen, D. Van Ryckeghem, G. Crombez, and A. Evers, “Attentional processing of itch,” PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG, vol. 82, no. 5, pp. 876–888, 2018.
@article{8526861,
  abstract     = {Itch is a prevalent somatosensory symptom that can be highly disabling, because it is likely to draw attention and, as a result, may interfere with the performance of daily activities. Yet, research experimentally investigating attention to itch is lacking. In this study we aimed to investigate attentional processing of itch using multiple behavioral attention tasks. Forty-one healthy participants performed (1) a modified Stroop task with itch-related words, (2) a dot-probe task with itch-related pictures, and (3) a recently developed somatosensory attention task in which the effect of experimentally induced itch on the localization of visual targets was examined. Additionally, a number of self-report questionnaires related to somatosensory attentional processing were administered. Results indicated that participants' attention was biased toward itch-related words and pictures assessed by means of the dot-probe and modified Stroop task, respectively. For the somatosensory attention task, results showed that itch did not significantly influence the allocation of attention. However, when taking into account the time course of attention during the itch stimulus, data suggested that participants tended to disengage attention away during the itch stimulus. This is the first study that indicates an attentional bias for itch, using methods that have previously been validated for other sensations such as pain. In addition, the newly developed somatosensory attention task may reflect the time course of attention toward a tonic itch stimulus.},
  author       = {van Laarhoven, AIM and Van Damme, Stefaan and Lavrijsen, APM and Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri and Crombez, Geert and Evers, AWM},
  issn         = {0340-0727},
  journal      = {PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH-PSYCHOLOGISCHE FORSCHUNG},
  keywords     = {PAIN-RELATED INFORMATION,CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN,AWARENESS QUESTIONNAIRE,DEPRESSION SCALE,HOSPITAL ANXIETY,FEAR-AVOIDANCE,BIAS,POPULATION,VIGILANCE,STROOP},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {876--888},
  title        = {Attentional processing of itch},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-017-0878-2},
  volume       = {82},
  year         = {2018},
}

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