Perception of Stimulus Intensity by Migraine and Non-migraine Subjects




Migraineurs and non-migraineurs performed a weight judgment task designed to measure stimulus intensity modulation style. The study revealed that migraineurs were more likely than non-migraineurs to increase their estimate of a weight's heaviness following stimulation with a similar weight. This tendency to increase the perceived intensity of stimuli may be one factor underlying the reported vaso constriction of migraineurs to low or moderate intensity stimuli that elicit vaso dilation in non-migraineurs. Questionnaire data is also described showing that migraineurs have a generalized preference for activities involving less intense levels of stimulation than those preferred by non-migraineurs. Implications of these findings for understanding the complex etiology of migraine are discussed.