Sadness increases subjective experience of pain

July 6, 2012
Sadness increases subjective experience of pain
Sadness increases subjective pain ratings and affects pain-evoked cortical activity, according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Pain.

(HealthDay) -- Sadness increases subjective pain ratings and affects pain-evoked cortical activity, according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Pain.

Atsuo Yoshino, M.D., of Hiroshima University in Japan, and colleagues used magnetoencephalography to evaluate pain stimuli experienced during sad, happy, and neutral emotional contexts in 19 healthy individuals, aged 20 to 30 years. Participants self-rated their , and cortical beta rhythms were measured.

The researchers found that subjective pain ratings were higher in the sad emotional context compared with happy or neutral contexts. A corresponding larger event-related desynchronization of lower beta bands in subjects' was observed during sad emotional context compared with happy emotional context.

"In conclusion, our results provide evidence that people tend to show higher pain sensitivities when they are feeling sad, and that the cortical (event-related desynchronization/event-related synchronization) in response to pain stimuli are particularly changeable under such conditions," the authors write. "These results suggest that observing sad emotion can modulate both subjective sensitivity and , and that emotional context is an important factor for understanding pain in human beings."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Managing pain -- a family affair

April 11, 2011

Could adult children's strategies for coping with pain come from watching their parents react to and deal with pain? According to Suzyen Kraljevic, from the University Hospital Split in Croatia, and colleagues, a family may ...

We discount the pain of people we don't like

October 3, 2011

If a patient is not likeable, will he or she be taken less seriously when exhibiting or complaining about pain? Reporting in the October 2011 issue of Pain, researchers have found that observers of patients estimate lower ...

Study looks at effect of emotions on pain and itch intensity

March 16, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Emotions influence the experience of somatosensory sensations of both pain and itch, with negative emotions eliciting higher levels of itch and pain compared to positive emotions, according to research published ...

Recommended for you

Neural efficiency hypothesis confirmed

July 27, 2015

One of the big questions intelligence researchers grapple with is just how differences in intelligence are reflected in the human brain. Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in studying further details relating to suspected ...

How does color blindness affect color preferences?

July 21, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Dichromacy is a color vision defect in which one of the three types of cone photoreceptors is missing. The condition is hereditary and sex-linked, mostly affecting males. Although researchers have explored ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.