Emotional modulation of pain-related evoked potentials

Christopher Ring, Maria Kavussanu, Adrian R. Willoughby

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17 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate whether cortical processing of trigeminal nociception is modulated by emotion, the N2 and P2 components of the pain-related evoked potential (PREP) were recorded in response to noxious stimulation of the supraorbital nerve while participants viewed neutral, pleasant and unpleasant pictures. The nerve was stimulated at 125% of pain threshold via a nociceptive-specific concentric electrode to selectively activate A-delta pain fibres. The N2 and P2 pain-related evoked potentials were similarly influenced by emotional priming: the amplitude of both potentials decreased monotonically from viewing neutral to pleasant to unpleasant pictures. These findings show that cortical processing of trigeminal nociception is modulated by emotion. We explain our findings in terms of the effects of picture viewing on attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-376
Number of pages4
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Emotion
  • Nociception

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