Evidence that trait-anxiety and trait-depression differentially moderate cortical processing of pain

H.G.M. Vossen, J. van Os, Hermanus J. Hermens, R. Lousberg

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    29 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of neuroticism (N) and its different subfacets anxiety (N-anx) and depression (N-dep) on cortical pain processing expressed as event-related potentials (ERPs). METHODS: Seventy-five healthy participants received electrical pain stimuli under condition of simultaneous electroencephalogram registration. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to study the amount of pain-ERP variance. ERP variance was explained by N and its subfacets. RESULTS: N moderated the way pain was processed cortically. Higher levels of N were associated with higher pain-ERP amplitudes. Within this association, differential subfacet effects were observed: N-anx reduced, whereas N-dep augmented pain-ERP amplitudes. DISCUSSION: A personality trait reflecting bias toward negative emotions may moderate the way pain is processed cortically, with directionally different effects depending on whether the trait is expressed predominantly in the realm of anxiety or depression.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)725-729
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical journal of pain
    Issue number06CH37725/8
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


    • METIS-237744
    • EWI-8468

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