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Effects of pain-related anxiety on components of the pain event-related potential


  • We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.

Address reprint requests to: Tracy Warbrick, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to investigate whether components of pain event-related potentials (ERPs) are modulated by anxiety. Pain ERPs in response to electrical stimulation were collected from 14 healthy individuals in a neutral condition and a condition where pain-related anxiety was induced. The amplitude of the N140 component of the ERP was found to be larger in the anxiety condition than the neutral condition. Arousal, as indicated by alpha power, did not differ between conditions. Differences in valence and focused attention to the painful stimuli may account for the increases in the N140 in the anxiety condition.

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