Anticipation and violated expectation of pain are influenced by trait rumination
Kokonyei, Gyongyi; Galambos, Attila; Edes, Andrea Edit; Kocsel, Natalia; Szabo, Edina; Pap, Dorottya; Kozak, Lajos R; Bagdy, Gyorgy; Juhasz, Gabriella
WoS ID: 000456550100003
Scopus ID: 85053830548
PubMed ID: 30251186
Rumination - as a stable tendency to focus repetitively on feelings related to distress - represents a transdiagnostic risk factor. Theories suggest altered emotional information processing as the key mechanism of rumination. However, studies on the anticipation processes in relation to rumination are scarce, even though expectation in this process is demonstrated to influence the processing of emotional stimuli. In addition, no published study has investigated violated expectation in relation to rumination yet. In the present study we examined the neural correlates of pain anticipation and perception using a fear conditioning paradigm with pain as the unconditioned stimulus in healthy subjects (N = 30). Rumination was assessed with the 10-item Ruminative Response Scale (RRS). Widespread brain activation - extending to temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes along with activation in the cingulate cortex, insula, and putamen - showed a positive correlation with rumination, supporting our hypothesis that trait rumination influences anticipatory processes. Interestingly, with violated expectation (when an unexpected, non-painful stimulus follows a pain cue compared to when an expected, painful stimulus follows the same pain cue) a negative association between rumination and activation was found in the posterior cingulate cortex, which is responsible for change detection in the environment and subsequent behavioral modification. Our results suggest that rumination is associated with increased neural response to pain perception and pain anticipation, and may deteriorate the identification of an unexpected omission of aversive stimuli. Therefore, targeting rumination in cognitive behavioral therapy of chronic pain could have a beneficial effect.