References of "Van Der Meulen, Marian 50003246"
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See detailWhen less is more: Investigating factors influencing the distraction effect of virtual reality from pain
Barcatta, Katharina; Holl, Elisabeth UL; Battistutta, Layla UL et al

in Frontiers in Pain Research (2022), 2

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See detailDistraction from Pain in Aging – the Impact of Acute Stress
Dierolf, Angelika UL; van der Meulen, Marian UL; Schulz, André UL et al

in Heinrichs, Markus; Schönauer, Monika (Eds.) 47. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn (2022)

While older people report acute and chronic pain more often than younger people, and, therefore, would benefit significantly from non-pharmacological pain treatment, little is known about how age affects ... [more ▼]

While older people report acute and chronic pain more often than younger people, and, therefore, would benefit significantly from non-pharmacological pain treatment, little is known about how age affects psychological strategies of pain modulation. Distraction from pain by cognitive engagement, an efficient pain modulation strategy, relies on the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The PFC, however, is an area affected by age-related cognitive decline, which might lead to reduced pain relief through distraction in older adults. Acute stress, a common concomitant phenomenon of pain, might additionally reduce the pain relief effect by its negative impact on PFC and PFC-based executive functions. Healthy young (18-30 years) and older participants (65+ years) performed a pain distraction task before and after acute stress induction using the Trier Social Stress Test, or a respective control condition. An n-Back working memory task with low and high cognitive load served as the distraction paradigm, during which participants received non-painful and moderately painful stimuli. These stimuli were individually adjusted transdermal electrical pulse trains to the inner forearm and participants rated them regarding their intensity and unpleasantness. Pain-related evoked potentials were recorded with a 64-channel EEG, and several saliva samples were collected to measure hormonal stress responses. First analyses on the currently small sample suggest a negative impact of acute stress on distraction from pain in both age groups. Our final results will contribute to a deeper understanding on the efficacy of pain modulation in aging and potential influencing factors, helping to optimize pain treatments in this population. [less ▲]

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See detailLess efficient cognitive pain modulation in healthy older adults – the impact of executive functions, chronic stress, and physical activity
Heiler, Ann-Sophie; van der Meulen, Marian UL; Miltner, Wolfgang et al

in Heinrichs, Markus; Schönauer, Monika (Eds.) 47. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn (2022)

Demographic change and the associated increasing prevalence of chronic pain have contributed to increased research interest in the field of aging. Aging has been associated with less efficient pain ... [more ▼]

Demographic change and the associated increasing prevalence of chronic pain have contributed to increased research interest in the field of aging. Aging has been associated with less efficient pain inhibition through cognitive distraction. As pain modulation and executive functioning mainly involve the prefrontal cortical network, which shows age-related atrophy, we hypothesized an association between deteriorating cognitive modulation of pain in healthy older adults and reduced executive functions. As chronic stress can decrease executive functioning through prefrontal cortical impairment, we expected a negative impact on distraction from pain. In contrast, physical activity can have a stress-buffering effect and positively influences executive functions in older age. Therefore, increased physical activity should lead to better distraction from pain. Healthy young (18 -30 years) and older adults (65+ years) took part in a pain distraction paradigm (N-back) while receiving non-painful and moderately painful electric stimuli. Before, we examined executive functions, including response inhibition (Go/No-Go-task), inhibitory control (Stroop task), and working memory (Sternberg task). Additionally, chronic stress and physical activity were assessed using self-report questionnaires, supported by physiological measurements (heart rate variability). Preliminary results indicate a negative impact of chronic stress on distraction from pain particular in young participants, while physical fitness was related to more successful pain modulation in older adults. Our final results will contribute to a more differentiated view on executive functioning and pain modulation in aging, thereby leading to a better understanding of the impact of aging on non-pharmacological pain treatment and to better adapted pain therapies in this population. [less ▲]

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See detailDistraction from Pain: An fMRI Study on the Role of Age-related Changes in Executive Functions
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; González-Roldán, Ana M.; Montoya, Pedro et al

Scientific Conference (2021, June)

Even though aging is associated with increased and prolonged episodes of pain, little is known about potential age-related changes in the "top-down" modulation of pain, such as cognitive distraction from ... [more ▼]

Even though aging is associated with increased and prolonged episodes of pain, little is known about potential age-related changes in the "top-down" modulation of pain, such as cognitive distraction from pain. The hypoalgesic effect of distraction results from a competition for attentional and executive resources mediated by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Given that age-related grey matter atrophy is particularly prominent in the PFC, older adults may benefit less from distraction to reduce pain than young adults. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of aging on task-related hypoalgesia and its neural mechanisms, with a focus on the role of executive functions in distraction from pain. 64 participants (32 young adults: 26.69 ± 4.14 years; 32 older adults: 68.28 ± 7.00 years) first completed a battery of neuropsychological tests. In a second session, we administered a pain distraction paradigm while functional brain images were acquired. In this paradigm, participants completed a low (0-back) and a high (2-back) load condition of a working memory task while receiving either innocuous or painful heat stimuli to their lower arm. To control for age-related differences in sensitivity to pain and perceived task difficulty, stimulus intensity and task speed were individually calibrated. Both age groups showed significantly reduced activity in a network of regions involved in pain processing when performing the high compared to the low load distraction task; however, young adults showed a larger neural distraction effect in several of these regions, including the insula, caudate and midcingulate cortex. Moreover, in older adults, better executive functions – in particular inhibitory control abilities – were associated with a larger neural distraction effect in the insula, thalamus and primary somatosensory cortex, and with more activation in several prefrontal cortex regions during the high load task. These findings clearly demonstrate that the top-down control of pain is altered by age and could explain the higher vulnerability of older adults to developing chronic pain. Moreover, our findings suggest that the assessment of executive functions may be a useful tool for predicting the efficacy of cognitive pain modulation strategies in older adults. [less ▲]

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See detailPain Processing in Older Age – Evidence from Event-Related Potentials
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; González-Rolán, Ana Maria et al

Scientific Conference (2021, June)

Aging is known to affect neurobiological and physiological aspects of pain perception and has been associated with reduced pain sensitivity and a deterioration of descending pain inhibitory mechanisms. To ... [more ▼]

Aging is known to affect neurobiological and physiological aspects of pain perception and has been associated with reduced pain sensitivity and a deterioration of descending pain inhibitory mechanisms. To investigate age differences in neural electrophysiological correlates of pain processing, we induced acute pain in healthy older (60 yrs+) and younger adults (18 to 35 yrs), using short transdermal electrical pulses administered to the inner forearm, with individually adjusted stimulation intensities. Participants received alternating blocks of painful and non-painful control stimulation and rated the intensity and unpleasantness of each stimulus on two visual analog scales. Pain-related evoked potentials were recorded with a 64-channel EEG. Preliminary results indicate that younger and older participants rated painful stimuli more intensive and unpleasant compared to the control stimulation, with older adults showing a slight habituation over time. In younger adults, ERP amplitudes (N2, P2 P3) of painful stimulation were enhanced compared to non- painful stimulation. In contrast, older participants showed generally reduced ERPs, no difference between pain and non-painful stimulation and by tendency longer latencies for painful stimulation. This suggests that nociceptive neural processing is altered in aging, while the reported pain perception is unaffected. Given that aging is also associated with a decline of cognitive functions and PFC volume and activity changes, this could have implications for the efficacy of cognitive pain modulation. Altogether, our results highlight the need for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying pain processing in older adults, and how these age-related changes affect (cognitive) pain treatments in this population. [less ▲]

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See detailCognitive distraction from pain: An fMRI study on the role of age and executive functions
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Dierolf, Angelika UL; González-Roldán, Ana M. et al

Scientific Conference (2021, June)

Completing a cognitive task has been shown to be a powerful strategy to reduce concurrent pain. This reduction in pain is assumed to result from a competition between the painful stimulus and the ... [more ▼]

Completing a cognitive task has been shown to be a powerful strategy to reduce concurrent pain. This reduction in pain is assumed to result from a competition between the painful stimulus and the distractive task for attentional and executive resources mediated by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region that is particularly affected by age-related grey matter atrophy. In the present study, we investigated the role of age-related changes in gray matter volume and executive functions in modulating the efficacy of distraction from pain. In a first session, young and older adults completed a battery of neuropsychological tests. In a second session, we acquired functional brain images while participants completed a working memory task with two levels of cognitive load (low vs. high load) and concurrently received individually adjusted heat stimuli (innocuous vs. painful) to their lower arm. While we found no age-related differences in the distraction effect size on the behavioural level, young adults showed a larger neural distraction effect in several regions involved in pain processing, including the insula, caudate and midcingulate cortex. Interestingly, older adults with better executive functions, particularly, better inhibitory control abilities, showed a larger neural distraction effect in the insula, thalamus and primary somatosensory cortex, and more activation in frontal clusters during the high load task. Taken together, these findings suggest that age alters the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive distraction from pain, and that the magnitude of these changes may be dependent on the preservation of executive functions. [less ▲]

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See detailIntact pain modulation through manipulation of controllability and expectations in aging
González-Roldán, Ana María; Terrasa, Juan Lorenzo; Prats-Sedano, Maria Angeles et al

in European Journal of Pain (2021)

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See detailAnterior cingulate cortex activity during rest is related to alterations in pain perception in aging
Terrasa, Juan L.; Montoya, Pedro; Sitges, Carolina et al

in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (2021)

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See detailDistraction from pain: The role of selective attention and pain catastrophizing
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Gonzalez-Roldan, Ana Maria; Montoya, Pedro et al

in European Journal of Pain (2020), 24(10), 1880-1891

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See detailAlterations in Neural Responses and Pain Perception in Older Adults During Distraction
Gonzalez-Roldan, Ana Maria; Terrasa, Juan Lorenzo; Sitges, Carolina et al

in Psychosomatic Medicine (2020), 82

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See detailAge-Related Changes in Pain Perception Are Associated With Altered Functional Connectivity During Resting State
Gonzalez-Roldan, Ana Maria; Terrasa, Juan Lorenzo; Sitges, Carolina et al

in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (2020), 12(116),

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See detailPain and cognitive pain modulation in aging
van der Meulen, Marian UL

Article for general public (2020)

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See detailPlacebo Analgesie im Alter
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; van der Meulen, Marian UL

Scientific Conference (2020, January)

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See detailThe destruction of distraction? Neural mechanisms of reduced task-related analgesia with aging.
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Dierolf, Angelika UL; Gonzalez-Roldan, Ana Maria et al

Poster (2019, September 06)

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See detailThe role of executive functions in task-related analgesia
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Gigl, Sandra; Dierolf, Angelika UL et al

Poster (2019, March)

Introduction: Recent research suggests that weaker executive functions may be linked to a higher risk of pain chronicity. However, little is known about how executive functions affect the modulation of ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Recent research suggests that weaker executive functions may be linked to a higher risk of pain chronicity. However, little is known about how executive functions affect the modulation of acute pain. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of inhibitory control on the success of cognitive distraction from pain. Methods: Participants completed a battery of cognitive tasks (Go/NoGo, Color Stroop, Eriksen Flanker), assessing their cognitive inhibition and selective attention abilities. Additionally, self-report measures of pain catastrophizing and fear of pain were administered. In a pain distraction paradigm, participants completed either a cognitively demanding working memory task (2-back task) or a visually matched easy control task (target response task) while receiving warm or painful thermal stimuli to their left forearm. Nociceptive stimulus intensity was individually calibrated for each participant. Moreover, to maintain a similar level of task difficulty across participants, task speed was continuously adapted based on the participant's performance in the previous trials. Following each trial, participants rated the perceived intensity and unpleasantness of the thermal stimuli on visual analogue scales. Results: As expected, preliminary results indicate that the 2-back task, but not the target response task, successfully distracted participants from thermal pain, manifesting in significantly lower intensity and unpleasantness ratings. Importantly, the magnitude of the distraction effect was negatively associated with the Flanker effect. Discussion: In line with previous research, engaging in a cognitively demanding task led to significantly lower pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to an easy control task. Moreover, results indicate that better interference control abilities may predict greater task-related analgesia. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that it is crucial to assess executive functions to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms behind cognitive distraction from pain. [less ▲]

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See detailReduced modulatory effects of distraction on pain due to aging
Siquier, A; Prats, MA; Montoya, P et al

Scientific Conference (2018, July)

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See detailPainful decisions: How classifying sensations can change the experience of pain
Van Der Meulen, Marian UL; Anton, Fernand UL; Petersen, Sibylle UL

in European Journal of Pain (2017)

Background: Categorizing perceptual stimuli is a mechanism for facilitating the processing of sensory input from our environment. This facilitation of perception is achieved through generalization ... [more ▼]

Background: Categorizing perceptual stimuli is a mechanism for facilitating the processing of sensory input from our environment. This facilitation of perception is achieved through generalization (assimilation) of stimulus characteristics within categories and accentuation between categories. These categorization processes have been demonstrated in visual, auditory, tactile and social perception, but never in pain perception. Method: We presented participants with six thermal noxious stimuli, increasing in steps of 0.5 °C. In an experimental group, stimuli were assigned to two categories labelled A and B containing the three lower (A1, A2, A3) and three higher (B1, B2, B3) stimuli. A control group did not receive such category information (stimuli were labelled S1–S6). In a first part of the experiment, participants simply rated pain intensity and unpleasantness for all stimuli. In a second part, we presented stimuli without labels and participants had to identify the label of each stimulus. Results: We found evidence for categorization effects in both pain ratings and stimulus identification data. In particular, unpleasantness ratings within categories were more similar to each other, and ratings between categories less similar, in the experimental compared to control group. Participants in the experimental group also confused stimuli more often within than between categories, and were more confident about category membership of stimuli at the category border, compared to participants in the control group. Conclusions: Mere category information, using abstract category labels, significantly changes pain perception. Implications for our understanding of cognitive pain modulation mechanisms, as well as clinical implications of categorization effects are discussed. Significance: Categorization effects in pain perception are demonstrated. Classifying and labelling painful events can modulate early perceptual processes, lead to under- or overestimation of pain symptoms and affect decision-making behaviour related to pain. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of cognitive reappraisal in placebo analgesia: an fMRI study
Van Der Meulen, Marian UL; Kamping, Sandra; Anton, Fernand UL

in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (2017), (2017), 1-10

Placebo analgesia (PA) depends crucially on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is assumed to be responsible for initiating the analgesic response. Surprisingly little research has focused on the ... [more ▼]

Placebo analgesia (PA) depends crucially on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is assumed to be responsible for initiating the analgesic response. Surprisingly little research has focused on the psychological mechanisms mediated by the PFC and underlying PA. One increasingly accepted theory is that cognitive reappraisal—the reinterpretation of the meaning of adverse events—plays an important role, but no study has yet addressed the possible functional relationship with PA. We studied the influence of individual differences in reappraisal ability on PA and its prefrontal mediation. Participants completed a cognitive reappraisal ability task, which compared negative affect evoked by pictures in a reappraise versus a control condition. In a subsequent fMRI session, PA was induced using thermal noxious stimuli and an inert skin cream. We found a region in the left dorsolateral PFC, which showed a positive correlation between placebo-induced activation and (i) the reduction in participants’ pain intensity ratings; and (ii) cognitive reappraisal ability scores. Moreover, this region showed increased placebo-induced functional connectivity with the periaqueductal grey, indicating its involvement in descending nociceptive control. These initial findings thus suggest that cognitive reappraisal mechanisms mediated by the dorsolateral PFC may play a role in initiating pain inhibition in PA [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 241 (7 UL)