A new study published in the Journal of Pain Research has found that people who are suffering from chronic pain were more likely to pay attention to words that relate to pain compared to those who do not suffer from pain.
The study was conducted by researchers at York University in Canada who recruited around 113 participants, 51 of whom suffered from chronic pain. The researchers tested the reaction time of participants with the help of a state of the art eye tracking technology and made the participants to look at neutral and sensory pain-related words on a dot-probe task.
The researchers found that those who suffered from chronic pain lingered more on words that were related to pain compared to neutral words.
"We now know that people with and without chronic pain differ in terms of how, where and when they attend to pain-related words. This is a first step in identifying whether the attentional bias is involved in making pain more intense or more salient to the person in pain", co-author of the study Dr Joel Katz said.