Pain appears to lengthen the perceived duration of events. Previous work from our laboratory has firstly showed this pain effect on time estimation (Ogden et al. 2014). This effect has subsequently been replicated in other laboratories using electro-cutaneous stimulation (Fayolle, Gil & Droit-Volet, 2015) and thermal cooling (Khoshnejad et al., 2016).
Thinking about chronic pain patients, these results would suggest an important insight. Indeed, they do not only experience pain for the majority of the time, but they would also feel this time to be longer than what actually is. It is reasonable to think that this is one of the factors causing and increasing the emotional distress experienced by chronic pain patients reducing their quality of life. However, at present, time perception dysfunction in chronic pain population is not well investigated. My PhD project aims to address this research gap.
During the first part of my PhD I have conducted a series of behavioural experiments to further investigate the pain effects on time estimation in a healthy population. Particularly, I have investigated the role of arousal and attention, which notoriously assume an important role on the perception of time (Gibbon, Church & Meck, 1984). I have also used physiological measures to assess the arousal level of participants.
During the second part of my PhD I am recruiting patients suffering from chronic pain to compare their time experience to the one of the healthy population. This comparison aims to test whether the chronic pain population has a general distorted time perception or only in specific sensory modalities. Finally, I will test whether mindfulness training may correct the time distortion of chronic pain patients with the final aim of reducing their distress and improving their quality of life.
2014, University of Padova, Italy, Master Degree in Clinical Psychology
2012, University of Padova, Italy, Bachelor Degree in Psychology
PhD student, Department of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2015 - present
O'Sullivan N, de Bezenac C, Piovesan A, Cutler H, Corcoran R, Fenyvesi D, Bertamini M. 2018. I Am There … but Not Quite: An Unfaithful Mirror That Reduces Feelings of Ownership and Agency Perception, 47 :197-215 >DOI
Piovesan A, Mirams L, Poole H, Moore D, Ogden R. 2018. The relationship between pain induced autonomic arousal and perceived duration Emotion,
Piovesan A, Mirams L, Poole H, Moore D, Ogden R. Judging the duration of painful stimuli and non-painful stimuli during a state of pain. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Experimental PSychology Society
Piovesan A, Mirams L, Poole H, Moore D, Ogden R. Does pain lengthen time estimation because it increases body arousal? A physiological study. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Experimental Psychology Society
Poole H, Mirams L, Piovesan A, Ogden R. 28. Piovesan A., Mirams L., Poole H., Ogden, R. S. (2018) The effect of pain on memory for duration 4th International Conference on Time Perspective
Piovesan A, Mirams L, Poole H, Moore D, Richter M, Ogden RS. How Pain Affects Time Estimation. A Physiological Study Timing Research Forum