Functional measurement analyses and psychophysical techniques were used to assess how separate, cross-modal, aversive events are integrated in judgments of pain. Subjects made magnitude estimations of noxious stimuli produced by a 6 × 6 factorial design of electric shocks and loud tones. Group data and most of the individual results were consistent with a model of linear pain summation: The estimates of pain approximated the linear sum of the pain estimates of the individual electrocutaneous and auditory components. The relation between painful sensation and current intensity could be described by a mildly expansive power function with an exponent of about 1.1. Auditorily produced painful sensation related to sound pressure level by a mildly compressive power function with an exponent of about 0.90 as a representative figure. Results are interpreted in terms of a functional theory of pain. Noxious events are first transformed to psychological scale values via stimulus-specific psychophysical transfer functions. The outputs of these functions are then combined with other pain-related internal representations of either sensory or cognitive origin, according to simple algebraic models.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance|
|State||Published - Feb 1986|