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      Does experimentally induced pain affect attention? A meta-analytical review

      1 , 2 , 1 , 2 , 1 , 2

      Journal of Pain Research

      Dove Medical Press

      experimental pain, attention, meta-analysis

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          Abstract

          Background

          Recent studies have found that clinical pain is related to cognitive impairment. However, there remains a scarcity of systematic reviews on the influence of acute pain on attention. Laboratory-induced pain is often used to simulate acute pain. The current systematic meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effect of induced-pain on three components of attention (orienting, alerting, and executive attention) in healthy subjects.

          Methods

          A systematic search of three databases was performed. Only data from studies that administered laboratory-induced pain and that also included a control group were selected. The effects of experimental pain on orienting attention, alerting attention, and executive attention were analyzed. Two reviewers assessed the studies and extracted relevant data according to the Cochrane Collaboration and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Guidelines.

          Results

          Eight studies were included in the meta-analysis. Orienting attention was marginally interrupted by pain under the invalid cue and marginally facilitated by pain under the valid cue condition. Performance on alerting attention was decreased by pain. Executive attention was not significantly affected by pain.

          Conclusion

          There was moderate evidence that experimentally induced pain can produce effects on orienting and alerting attention but not on executive attention. This meta-analysis suggests that experimentally induced pain influences some aspects of attention.

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          Most cited references 37

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          The activation of attentional networks.

          Alerting, orienting, and executive control are widely thought to be relatively independent aspects of attention that are linked to separable brain regions. However, neuroimaging studies have yet to examine evidence for the anatomical separability of these three aspects of attention in the same subjects performing the same task. The attention network test (ANT) examines the effects of cues and targets within a single reaction time task to provide a means of exploring the efficiency of the alerting, orienting, and executive control networks involved in attention. It also provides an opportunity to examine the brain activity of these three networks as they operate in a single integrated task. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the brain areas involved in the three attention systems targeted by the ANT. The alerting contrast showed strong thalamic involvement and activation of anterior and posterior cortical sites. As expected, the orienting contrast activated parietal sites and frontal eye fields. The executive control network contrast showed activation of the anterior cingulate along with several other brain areas. With some exceptions, activation patterns of these three networks within this single task are consistent with previous fMRI studies that have been studied in separate tasks. Overall, the fMRI results suggest that the functional contrasts within this single task differentially activate three separable anatomical networks related to the components of attention.
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            Modulations of sensory-evoked brain potentials indicate changes in perceptual processing during visual-spatial priming.

            Reaction time (RT) differences to visual stimuli as a function of expectancy have been attributed to changes in perceptual processing or entirely to shifts in decision and response criteria. To help distinguish between these competing interpretations, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded to lateralized flashes delivered to visual field locations precued by a central arrow (valid stimuli) or not precued (invalid stimuli). Validly cued stimuli in both simple and choice RT tasks elicited consistent amplitude enhancements of the early, sensory-evoked PI component of the ERP recorded at scalp sites overlying lateral prestriate visual cortex (90-130 ms poststimulus). In contrast, the subsequent N1 component (150-200 ms) was enhanced by validly cued stimuli in the choice RT task condition only. These electrophysiological findings support models proposing that the behavioral effects of precuing expected target locations are due, at least in part, to changes in sensory-perceptual processing. Furthermore, these data provide specific information regarding the neural mechanisms underlying such effects.
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              • Article: not found

              Alerting, orienting, and executive attention: developmental properties and sociodemographic correlates in an epidemiological sample of young, urban children.

              A computerized test of preparedness for effortful processing (alerting attention), response to orienting cues (orienting attention), and response to the interference of competing demands (executive attention) was administered to a diverse sample of 249 children (47% female, 4.96 to 7.27 years) to assess developmental properties and sociodemographic correlates of task performance. Older children and socially advantaged children demonstrated greater proficiency in overall accuracy and speed of responding. Boys and socially advantaged children improved more in response to alerting cues. Older children improved more in response to orienting cues. Older children, socially advantaged children, African American, and Hispanic children resisted the interference of competing demands better. Findings are discussed in the context of developmental and sociodemographic factors relevant to attention and executive functions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2019
                04 February 2019
                : 12
                : 585-595
                Affiliations
                [1 ]CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People’s Republic of China, luof@ 123456psych.ac.cn
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, People’s Republic of China, luof@ 123456psych.ac.cn
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Fei Luo, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 16 Lincui Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, People’s Republic of China, Email luof@ 123456psych.ac.cn
                Article
                jpr-12-585
                10.2147/JPR.S184183
                6368116
                © 2019 Gong et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                meta-analysis, attention, experimental pain

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