Journal article

Not seeing or feeling is still believing: conscious and non-conscious pain modulation after direct and observational learning

Natalia Egorova, Joel Park, Scott P Orr, Irving Kirsch, Randy L Gollub, Jian Kong

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2015

Abstract

Our experience with the world is shaped not only directly through personal exposure but also indirectly through observing others and learning from their experiences. Using a conditioning paradigm, we investigated how directly and observationally learned information can affect pain perception, both consciously and non-consciously. Differences between direct and observed cues were manifest in higher pain ratings and larger skin conductance responses to directly experienced cues. However, the pain modulation effects produced by conditioning were of comparable magnitude for direct and observational learning. These results suggest that social observation can induce positive and negative pain modu..

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Grants

Awarded by NIH


Awarded by NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY & ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE


Awarded by National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NIH R01AT006364 and R01AT008563 ( NCCIH) to Jian Kong, NIH R01AT0005280 to Randy L. Gollub and PO1AT006663 to Bruce Rosen and Randy Gollub. We would like to thank Kalliroi Retzepi, Daniel Ott, Xiaoyan Chen, Domenic Minicucci for help in video preparation and to Rongjun Yu for preparing the visual stimuli.