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Working through the pain: working memory capacity and differences in processing and storage under pain.

Authors
  • Sanchez, Christopher A1
  • 1 Cognitive Science and Engineering Program, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Memory (Hove, England)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2011
Volume
19
Issue
2
Pages
226–232
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2010.547861
PMID: 21331971
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

It has been suggested that pain perception and attention are closely linked at both a neural and a behavioural level. If pain and attention are so linked, it is reasonable to speculate that those who vary in working memory capacity (WMC) should be affected by pain differently. This study compares the performance of individuals who differ in WMC as they perform processing and memory span tasks while under mild pain and not. While processing performance under mild pain does not interact with WMC, the ability to store information for later recall does. This suggests that pain operates much like an additional processing burden, and that the ability to overcome this physical sensation is related to differences in WMC.

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