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Laser evoked potentials (LEPs) are brain responses to activation of skin nociceptors by laser heat stimuli. LEPs consist of three components: N1, N2, and P2. Previous reports have suggested that in contrast to earlier activities (N1), LEPs responses after 230-250 ms (N2-P2) are modulated by attention to painful laser stimuli. However, the experimental(More)
Neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have shown that nociceptive stimuli elicit responses in an extensive cortical network including somatosensory, insular and cingulate areas, as well as frontal and parietal areas. This network, often referred to as the "pain matrix", is viewed as representing the activity by which the intensity and unpleasantness(More)
Pain can involuntarily capture attention and disrupt pain-unrelated cognitive activities. The brain mechanisms of these effects were explored by laser- and visual-evoked potentials. Consecutive nociceptive laser stimuli and visual stimuli were delivered in pairs. Subjects were instructed to ignore nociceptive stimuli while performing a task on visual(More)
Attention is a key concept in many theories of pain perception. A clinically popular idea is that pain is more intense in persons who are hypervigilant for or bias their attention to pain information. So far, evidence for such bias in pain patients as compared to healthy persons is inconclusive. Furthermore, studies investigating the effects of distracting(More)
Laser evoked potentials (LEPs) are electrical brain responses to nociceptive heat stimuli. In a recent study [Legrain, V., Guérit, J.M., Bruyer, R. and Plaghki, L., Pain, 99 (2002) 21-39.], we found that amplitude at approximately 400 ms was increased by rare intensity deviant nociceptive stimuli (P400 effect). In that study, laser stimuli were randomly(More)
The event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by nociceptive stimuli are largely influenced by vigilance, emotion, alertness, and attention. Studies that specifically investigated the effects of cognition on nociceptive ERPs support the idea that most of these ERP components can be regarded as the neurophysiological indexes of the processes underlying(More)
BACKGROUND Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, a nociceptive stimulus has the capacity to involuntarily capture attention and take priority over other sensory inputs. Whether distraction by nociception actually occurs may depend upon the cognitive characteristics of the ongoing activities. The present study tested the role(More)
Currently, the study of nociception in humans relies mainly on thermal stimulation of heat-sensitive nociceptive afferents. To circumvent some limitations of thermal stimulation, it was proposed that intra-epidermal electrical stimulation (IES) could be used as an alternative method to activate nociceptors selectively. The selectivity of IES relies on the(More)