Social context has been shown to influence pain perception. This study aimed to broaden this literature by investigating whether relevant social stimuli, such as faces with different levels of intrinsic (based on physical resemblance to known individuals) and episodic (acquired through a previous experience) familiarity, may lead to hypoalgesia. We hypothesized that familiarity, whether intrinsic or acquired through experience, would increase pain threshold and decrease pain intensity. Sixty-seven participants underwent pain induction (the cold pressor test) viewing previously seen faces (Episodic Group) or new faces (Non-episodic Group) that differed in the level of intrinsic familiarity (high vs low). Pain threshold was measured in seconds, while pain intensity was measured on a rating scale of 0 to 10. The results did not show an effect of episodic familiarity. However, compared to low, high intrinsic familiar faces had an attenuating effect on pain intensity, even after controlling for pain expectation. These results suggest that physical features conveying a higher feeling of familiarity induce a top-down hypoalgesic modulation, in line with the idea that familiarity may signal safety and that the presence of familiar others reduce perceived threat-related distress. This study provides further evidence on the social modulation of pain and contributes to the literature on first impressions' influence on social behavior. Perspective: Consistent with the idea that familiar others signal safety and reduce the sense of threat, facial features conveying familiarity induce a top-down hypoalgesic modulation. This knowledge may contribute to understanding differences in pain perception in experimental and clinical contexts.(R) 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of United States Association for the Study of Pain, Inc

Familiarity From Facial Appearance Leads to Hypoalgesia / Bagnis, Arianna; Todorov, Alexander; Altizio, Ilenia; Colonnello, Valentina; Fanti, Stefano; Russo, Paolo Maria; Mattarozzi, Katia. - In: THE JOURNAL OF PAIN. - ISSN 1526-5900. - ELETTRONICO. - 24:11(2023), pp. 2040-2051. [10.1016/j.jpain.2023.06.012]

Familiarity From Facial Appearance Leads to Hypoalgesia

Bagnis, Arianna
;
Colonnello, Valentina;Fanti, Stefano;Russo, Paolo Maria;Mattarozzi, Katia
2023

Abstract

Social context has been shown to influence pain perception. This study aimed to broaden this literature by investigating whether relevant social stimuli, such as faces with different levels of intrinsic (based on physical resemblance to known individuals) and episodic (acquired through a previous experience) familiarity, may lead to hypoalgesia. We hypothesized that familiarity, whether intrinsic or acquired through experience, would increase pain threshold and decrease pain intensity. Sixty-seven participants underwent pain induction (the cold pressor test) viewing previously seen faces (Episodic Group) or new faces (Non-episodic Group) that differed in the level of intrinsic familiarity (high vs low). Pain threshold was measured in seconds, while pain intensity was measured on a rating scale of 0 to 10. The results did not show an effect of episodic familiarity. However, compared to low, high intrinsic familiar faces had an attenuating effect on pain intensity, even after controlling for pain expectation. These results suggest that physical features conveying a higher feeling of familiarity induce a top-down hypoalgesic modulation, in line with the idea that familiarity may signal safety and that the presence of familiar others reduce perceived threat-related distress. This study provides further evidence on the social modulation of pain and contributes to the literature on first impressions' influence on social behavior. Perspective: Consistent with the idea that familiar others signal safety and reduce the sense of threat, facial features conveying familiarity induce a top-down hypoalgesic modulation. This knowledge may contribute to understanding differences in pain perception in experimental and clinical contexts.(R) 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of United States Association for the Study of Pain, Inc
2023
Familiarity From Facial Appearance Leads to Hypoalgesia / Bagnis, Arianna; Todorov, Alexander; Altizio, Ilenia; Colonnello, Valentina; Fanti, Stefano; Russo, Paolo Maria; Mattarozzi, Katia. - In: THE JOURNAL OF PAIN. - ISSN 1526-5900. - ELETTRONICO. - 24:11(2023), pp. 2040-2051. [10.1016/j.jpain.2023.06.012]
Bagnis, Arianna; Todorov, Alexander; Altizio, Ilenia; Colonnello, Valentina; Fanti, Stefano; Russo, Paolo Maria; Mattarozzi, Katia
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Bagnis et al. 2023 Journal of Pain.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate (CCBYNCND)
Dimensione 1.88 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.88 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
1-s2.0-S1526590023004492-mmc1.docx

accesso aperto

Tipo: File Supplementare
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate (CCBYNCND)
Dimensione 401.57 kB
Formato Microsoft Word XML
401.57 kB Microsoft Word XML Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/954285
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact