The Effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Laboratory Pain and Emotion: An ERP Study
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Acceptance training has been used to help individuals cope with negative emotion and pain (Hayes et al., 1999), however little is known about the neural mechanisms mediating these effects. The present study examined whether acceptance training can modify pain and emotion (both subjective and brain responses), whether these changes in emotion are associated with changes in pain, and whether subjective changes are associated with brain changes. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used as a measure of neural response to laboratory pain and pictorial stimuli. Participants (N = 15) came in for one laboratory visit and underwent thermal pain testing and passive picture viewing of negative and neutral stimuli before and after a randomly assigned intervention of either acceptance training or an active control. A mixed-design was used to analyze changes in subjective and neural responses within-subjects (before and after emotion and pain stimuli) and between participants (acceptance training or an active control). Hypotheses were that a) acceptance training would decrease evoked potentials and subjective ratings to both pain and picture stimuli and b) greater training-induced reductions in picture-elicited responses would be associated with greater reductions in pain-elicited responses. Results of this study may increase our understanding of the neurological mechanisms by which acceptance affects pain and emotion.
Luedke, Jessica C (2018). The Effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Laboratory Pain and Emotion: An ERP Study. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from