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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Attentional Biases in Chronic Pain: Current Evidence and Future Directions Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
12 June 2014
Venue:
Room 3095 Building 44 (Shackleton) University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

Theoretical accounts of attention and pain (e.g., Pincus & Morley, 2001; Van Damme et al., 2010), predict attentional biases towards pain-related information in individuals with chronic pain. Supporting this, studies using the visual-probe task have provided evidence of bias in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain (e.g., Haggman et al., 2010) and, in my research, chronic headache (e.g., Liossi, Schoth, Bradley, & Mogg, 2009; Schoth & Liossi, 2010, 2013).

 

Theoretical accounts of attention and pain (e.g., Pincus & Morley, 2001; Van Damme et al., 2010), predict attentional biases towards pain-related information in individuals with chronic pain.  Supporting this, studies using the visual-probe task have provided evidence of bias in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain (e.g., Haggman et al., 2010) and, in my research, chronic headache (e.g., Liossi, Schoth, Bradley, & Mogg, 2009; Schoth & Liossi, 2010, 2013).  

In my recent investigations, I have moved towards more ecologically valid stimuli and cognitive paradigms, providing evidence of bias in visual-scanning (Liossi, Schoth, Godwin, & Liversedge, 2014) and visual search (Schoth, Godwin, Liversedge, & Liossi, under review) eye-tracking tasks, in addition to the flicker task which taps into both attention and memory processes (Schoth, Ma, & Liossi, under review).  

This presentation will provide an overview of the chronic pain attentional bias literature to date, including studies currently being conducted by my research group.  The presentation will conclude with a discussion of three important areas of future research: (i) the role of pain-related bias in the onset and maintenance of chronic pain, along with the therapeutic benefits of modifying such biases, (ii) testing of the combined cognitive bias hypothesis which proposes that, rather than operating in isolation, cognitive biases (e.g., attention, memory, and interpretation biases) interact with one another, and (iii) further possibilities for investigations using eye-tracking.

Speaker information

Dr Daniel Schoth,I completed my BSc in Psychology at Southampton Solent University, followed by my MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Southampton. It was during my MSc that I began my research into chronic pain, with a specific focus upon attentional processes in chronic headache. Working with my Doctorate Supervisor Dr. Christina Liossi, I continued and expanded this research on my PhD, which I completed January 2011. I have since completed two postdoctoral research projects, one here at Southampton using eye-tracking to further explore attentional bias, and the other at University College London exploring biomechanical, sensory and psychosocial factors associated with pain in children with benign joint hypermobility. In 2012 I was appointed as Lecturer, teaching various postgraduate and undergraduate seminars and tutorials, while continuing my research into chronic pain.

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