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Motor simulation is disturbed when experiencing pain

(2019) PAIN.
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Abstract
While the contribution of social processes to pain perception is well documented, surprisingly little is known about the influence of pain on social perception. In particular, an important question is how pain modulates the processing of other people’s actions. To address this question, the current study tests, using automatic imitation, the hypothesis that pain interferes with motor simulation—that is, the processing of observed actions in the motor system. Participants in both experiments performed an automatic imitation task requiring them to abduct their index or little finger while they saw someone else performing either a congruent or incongruent action. Automatic imitation was measured in a pain-free context, a context where pain was coupled to the execution of a movement (experiment 1), and a context where pain occurred randomly (experiment 2). The results revealed that automatic imitation, indexed by slower responses on incongruent compared with congruent trials, was reduced when experiencing pain, both when pain was linked to movement execution and when it was not. Thus, the current study shows that pain leads to reduced motor processing of others’ behavior and, as such, has important implications for understanding the social difficulties associated with pain.
Keywords
Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Neurology, Clinical Neurology, Pain, Automatic imitation, Motor simulation, Self-focus

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Cracco, Emiel, et al. “Motor Simulation Is Disturbed When Experiencing Pain.” PAIN, 2019.
APA
Cracco, E., Clauwaert, A., Van den Broeck, Y., Van Damme, S., & Brass, M. (2019). Motor simulation is disturbed when experiencing pain. PAIN.
Chicago author-date
Cracco, Emiel, Amanda Clauwaert, Yentl Van den Broeck, Stefaan Van Damme, and Marcel Brass. 2019. “Motor Simulation Is Disturbed When Experiencing Pain.” PAIN.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Cracco, Emiel, Amanda Clauwaert, Yentl Van den Broeck, Stefaan Van Damme, and Marcel Brass. 2019. “Motor Simulation Is Disturbed When Experiencing Pain.” PAIN.
Vancouver
1.
Cracco E, Clauwaert A, Van den Broeck Y, Van Damme S, Brass M. Motor simulation is disturbed when experiencing pain. PAIN. 2019;
IEEE
[1]
E. Cracco, A. Clauwaert, Y. Van den Broeck, S. Van Damme, and M. Brass, “Motor simulation is disturbed when experiencing pain,” PAIN, 2019.
@article{8626297,
  abstract     = {While the contribution of social processes to pain perception is well documented, surprisingly little is known about the influence of pain on social perception. In particular, an important question is how pain modulates the processing of other people’s actions. To address this question, the current study tests, using automatic imitation, the hypothesis that pain interferes with motor simulation—that is, the processing of observed actions in the motor system. Participants in both experiments performed an automatic imitation task requiring them to abduct their index or little finger while they saw someone else performing either a congruent or incongruent action. Automatic imitation was measured in a pain-free context, a context where pain was coupled to the execution of a movement (experiment 1), and a context where pain occurred randomly (experiment 2). The results revealed that automatic imitation, indexed by slower responses on incongruent compared with congruent trials, was reduced when experiencing pain, both when pain was linked to movement execution and when it was not. Thus, the current study shows that pain leads to reduced motor processing of others’ behavior and, as such, has important implications for understanding the social difficulties associated with pain.},
  author       = {Cracco, Emiel and Clauwaert, Amanda and Van den Broeck, Yentl and Van Damme, Stefaan and Brass, Marcel},
  issn         = {0304-3959},
  journal      = {PAIN},
  keywords     = {Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine,Neurology,Clinical Neurology,Pain,Automatic imitation,Motor simulation,Self-focus},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Motor simulation is disturbed when experiencing pain},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001665},
  year         = {2019},
}

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