Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Pain is among the most salient of experiences, while also, curiously, being among the most malleable. A large body of research has revealed that a multitude of explicit strategies can be used to effectively alter the attention-demanding quality of acute and chronic pains and their associated neural correlates. However, thoughts that are spontaneous, rather than actively generated, are common in daily life, and so attention to pain can often temporally fluctuate because of ongoing self-generated experiences. Classic pain theories have largely neglected to account for unconstrained fluctuations in cognition, but new studies have demonstrated the behavioral relevance, putative neural basis, and individual variability of interactions between pain and spontaneous thoughts. This chapter reviews behavioral studies of ongoing fluctuations in attention to pain, studies of the neural basis of spontaneous mind-wandering away from pain, and the clinical implications of this research.

Keywords: pain, acute pain, chronic pain, cognition, behavioral, spontaneous thought, mind-wandering

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.