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Influence of memory on experienced pain during Virtual Reality analgesia

Group publication title:

Polish Journal of Applied Psychology

Subject and Keywords:

virtual reality   cold pressor test   memory   pain   video games   attention distraction


The Polish Journal of Applied Psychology is primarily devoted to original investigations that contribute new knowledge and understanding to all fields of applied psychology. PJAP is mainly interested in publishing empirical articles, where quantitative as well as qualitative analyses of data enhance our understanding of individuals, groups or various social systems and have practical implications within particular contexts. Conceptual or theoretical papers may be accepted if they bring a special contribution into the field for application.


Virtual Reality (VR) technology can be applied during pain treatment, acting as an effective distractor from pain stimuli. In our paper we investigate how memory influences experienced intensity of thermal pain stimuli. An experiment (within subject design) was conducted on 35 students fromvarious Wroclaw universities. A cold pressor test was used for pain stimulation. Participants were immersed in customized virtual environments, created for thisparticular study. The environments differed at the level of memory engagement while playing a game. Pain measures were determined by the lengthof timeparticipants kept their hands in cold water (pain tolerance), and their pain rating intensity was measured on the VAS scale (pain intensity).Participants were asked to put their hand in a container with cold water and keep it there until the pain became difficult to bear. In both VR conditions participants kept their hands in the cold water significantly longer than in a non-VR (control) condition. Results of pain intensitymeasures were inconclusive. We did not find any significant differences in effectiveness in the virtual environments that were used.

Place of publishing:



Department of Psychology, University of Wrocław   www.psychologia.uni.wroc.pl   Publishing House eBooki.com.pl   www.ebooki.com.pl

Date issued:


Detailed Type:





ISSN 2354-0052



Is part of:

Polish Journal of Applied Psychology Volume 12, Number 4, 2014

Is referenced by:


Access rights:

Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike


Creative Commons - Attribution, Non-Commercial, NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)   click here to follow the link

Rights holder:

Copyright by Marcin Czub, Joanna Piskorz, Mateusz Misiewicz, Paweł Hodowaniec, Małgorzata Mrula, Katarzyna Urbańska

Autor opisu: