Disruption of working memory and contralateral delay activity by nociceptive stimuli is modulated by task demands


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Wagenaar-Tison, A., Deldar, Z., Northon, S., Brisson, B., Blanchette, I. et Piché, M. (2021). Disruption of working memory and contralateral delay activity by nociceptive stimuli is modulated by task demands. Pain . ISSN 0304-3959 1872-6623 DOI 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002517

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Top–down processes allow the selection and prioritization of information by limiting attentional capture by distractors, and these mechanisms depend on task demands such as working memory (WM) load. However, bottom–up processes give salient stimuli a stronger neuronal representation and provoke attentional capture. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of salient nociceptive stimuli on WM while manipulating task demands. Twenty-one healthy participants performed a change detection task during which they had to determine whether 2 successive visual arrays were different or the same. Task demands were modulated by manipulating the WM load (set size included 2 or 4 objects to recall) and by the correspondence between the 2 successive visual arrays (change vs no change). Innocuous stimuli (control) or nociceptive stimuli (distractors) were delivered during the delay period between the 2 visual arrays. Contralateral delay activity and laser-evoked potentials were recorded to examine neural markers of visual WM and nociceptive processes. Nociceptive stimuli decreased WM performance depending on task demands (all P < 0.05). Moreover, compared with control stimuli, nociceptive stimuli abolished the increase in contralateral delay activity amplitude for set size 4 vs set size 2 (P = 0.04). Consistent with these results, laser-evoked potential amplitude was not decreased when task demands were high (P = 0.5). These findings indicate that WM may shield cognition from nociceptive stimuli, but nociceptive stimuli disrupt WM and alter task performance when cognitive resources become insufficient to process all task-relevant information. Corresponding author. Address: Department of Anatomy, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3351 Blvd des Forges, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G9A 5H7. Tel.: 819-376-5011, Ext.: 3998; fax: 819-376-5204. E-mail address: mathieu.piche@uqtr.ca (M. Piché). Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article. Received July 06, 2021 Received in revised form September 22, 2021 Accepted October 08, 2021 © 2022 International Association for the Study of Pain

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Cognition Nociception CDA Attention Laser-evoked potentials
Date de dépôt: 14 mars 2022 17:36
Dernière modification: 19 juill. 2022 15:09
Version du document déposé: Post-print (version corrigée et acceptée)
URI: https://depot-e.uqtr.ca/id/eprint/10015

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