About this project
The experience of pain is often preceded by warning signals for impending pain. By orienting attention to signals that predict pain, physical harm may be avoided. Empirical evidence confirms that we tend to allocate more attention to stimuli that predict pain than to safety signals that are never followed by pain. Researchers are now challenged to specify the precise nature of attention to learned pain signals, and to advance our understanding of maladaptive attention to pain signals. We aim to address this need by examining in a series of well-controlled lab studies, how attention to signals that predict pain depends upon characteristics related to these signals, but also upon characteristics of the motivational context in which pain occurs.