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EP3 2015 reading list

By Timothy Cocks Science and the world 02 Apr 2015

EP3 is over for another year but whether you were there or not, it doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. During the three days each of the four speakers referred to, cited, or otherwise mentioned a whole bunch of papers, books and other resources. We’ve collected the best of these and linked to them below, including open access links whenever possible. So for those moving into a holiday weekend, your reading list is sorted!

Braithwaite and Cooper (1981) The Analgesic effects of branding treatment of headaches.

Lorimer mentioned that this was one of his favourite papers as a student, one that really got him thinking about humans and pain.

“It is hypothesised that these effects are due to increased confidence in obtaining relief with a well-known brand, and that branding has an analgesic effect that interacts with the analgesic effects of placebos and active ingredients.”

Moseley and Arntz (2007) The context of a noxious stimulus affects the pain it evokes [open access]  

“We conclude that meaning affects the experience a noxious stimulus evokes, and that warning and visual attention moderate the effects of meaning when the meaning is associated with tissue-damage”

Bartolo et al (2013) Modulation of the human nociceptive flexion reflex by pleasant and unpleasant odors.

“Consistent with the notion that nociceptive withdrawal reflex magnitude and pain perception can be modulated by stimuli with different emotional valence, these results show that olfactory stimuli, too, can modulate spinal nociception in humans.”

Eippert et al (2009) Direct evidence for spinal cord involvement in placebo analgesia

“These results provide direct evidence for spinal inhibition as one mechanism of placebo analgesia and highlight that psychological factors can act on the earliest stages of pain processing in the central nervous system.”

Chi et al (2012) Misconceived causal explanation for emergent processes [open access]

“For science processes that are sequential and stage-like, such as cycles of moon, circulation of blood, stages of mitosis, and photosynthesis, a Direct-causal Schema is adequate for correct understanding. However, for science processes that are non-sequential (or emergent), such as diffusion, natural selection, osmosis, and heat flow, using a Direct Schema to understand these processes will lead to robust misconceptions. Instead, a different type of general schema may be required to interpret non-sequential processes, which we refer to as an Emergent-causal Schema. We propose that students lack this Emergent Schema and teaching it to them may help them learn and understand emergent kinds of science processes such as diffusion. Our study found that directly teaching students this Emergent Schema led to increased learning of the process of diffusion. This article presents a fine-grained characterization of each type of Schema, our instructional intervention, the successes we have achieved, and the lessons we have learned.”

A paper that he had a profound influence on our thinking here at NOI.

Fordyce (1976) Behavioural Methods for Chronic Pain and Illness

Hard to find in it’s original publication, this has been re-printed with invited commentary. Kevin Vowles spoke repeatedly and highly of this book, if you can track it down.

Quevedo and Coghill (2007) Attentional Modulation of Spatial Integration of Pain: Evidence for Dynamic Spatial Tuning [open access]

Koyama et al (2005) The subjective experience of pain: Where expectations become reality [open access]

Zeidan et al (2011) Brain mechanisms supporting the modulation of pain by mindfulness meditation [open access]

Bob Coghill spoke at length about this trifecta of brilliant papers.

Starr et al (2009) Roles of the insular cortex in the modulation of pain: insights from brain lesions [open access] 

“Subjective sensory experiences are constructed by the integration of afferent sensory information with information about the uniquely personal internal cognitive state. The insular cortex is anatomically positioned to serve as one potential interface between afferent processing mechanisms and more cognitively oriented modulatory systems. However, the role of the insular cortex in such modulatory processes remains poorly understood… these results indicate that the insula may be importantly involved in tuning cortical regions to appropriately use previous cognitive information during afferent processing. Finally, these data suggest that a subjectively available experience of pain can be instantiated by brain mechanisms that do not require the insular cortex.”

Di Pietro et al (2013) Primary somatosensory cortex function in CRPS: A systematic review and meta-analysis [open access]

Di Pietro et al (2014) Interhemispheric somatosensory differences in chronic pain reflect abnormality of the healthy side [open access]

Two cracking, paradigm changing papers from a rising super star in the pain science world

Moseley et al (2012) Neglect-like tactile dysfunction in chronic back pain [open access]

Moseley (2008) I Can’t find it! Distorted body image and tactile dysfunction in patients with chronic back pain [open access]

Two papers relating to the idea of the Cortical Body Matrix

Wilson and Sandoz Mindfulness, Values. and Therapeutic Relationship in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy [open access book chapter]

Not directly cited by Kevin, but contains some great intro reading on ACT including the “Sweet Spot” exercises that Kevin did with the group.

Longmore and Worrell (2007) Do we need to challenge thoughts in cognitive behaviour therapy? [open access]

Kevin cited this as an important paper that challenges some long held ideas from CBT

There’s even more for those who want it- just check out our @noigroup Twitter stream.

Happy reading

-Tim Cocks


  1. Tim, this* is the only paper I could find on using two point discrimination as therapy, but I have a feeling Lorimer did something on this as well. Have you got a link please? Or would you know how they go about applying this as a treatment?

    1. Hey EG

      I thought of the following paper:

      Managing Chronic nonspecific low back pain with a sensorimotor retraining approach: Exploratory multiple-baseline study of 3 participants.

      They provide a very detailed appendix containing their methods and training program. Some promising results, but the authors themselves caution any extrapolation as their study is only very preliminary.

      Unfortunately, there does not seem to have been any further research undertaken with this method – at least not any that I have been able to find.


  2. Found it.

    Two-point discrimination (TPD)
    TPD was performed according to Moberg
    A mechanical calliper with a precision of 1 mm was applied until the very
    first blanching of the skin appeared around the prongs. The
    pressure was kept to a minimum to ensure that results reflected
    cutaneous sensibility. Testing commenced with 0 mm between
    the two points of the calliper, gradually increasing the distance
    until the subject was able to perceive two points instead of one.
    The subject was instructed to say ‘one’ when they felt one point
    and ‘two’ when they felt two points. A screen prevented the
    participant from watching the stimulation. Interstimulus inter-
    val was 7 s. The distance between points at which the partici-
    pant reported feeling two stimuli for three consecutive
    stimuli presentations was deemed the TPD. The average of
    three assessments was used for analyses.

    Anyone had success using this in the rooms? Thinking of adding it in.

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