Pain reporting accuracy and ability to accurately report other bodily sensations in dancers

Diogo Manuel Garanito Mendonça

Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis


Pain is a highly subjective experience. Researchers and clinicians have been struggling to measure pain, the effect of drugs and other therapies. One of the reasons for these difficulties is thought to be the high variability in pain reporting. Focused Analgesia Selection Test (FAST), was developed to assess pain reporting skills, and thus to discriminate between those that experience pain in accordance with the pain stimulation, and those that experience pain very differently from the external stimulation applied. Underlying differences in pain reporting could be explained through accuracy in other bodily sensations as well. Previous research has shown that in normal population pain accuracy is related to accuracy in the same modality but not between different interoception modalities, suggesting that accuracy is not cross-modal skill. Dancers are known to withstand and perceive pain differently and to have higher interoceptive accuracy comparing to non-dancers. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate if in dancers there were relations between pain reporting accuracy the accuracy in different modalities, i.e., interoception and taste. Thirty-three undergraduate and graduate dance students were recruited from a graduate school of dance. They were assessed with FAST procedure, heartbeat detection task and taste perception task. Psychological characteristics and a neuropsychological memory task were also assessed. The results showed significant relations between reporting accuracy within the same modality (taste), but no relations between different sensorial modalities. There were no relations between pain sensitivity and the pain reporting skills, but it was found that the years of dance practice were related to a higher pain reporting accuracy. Our data suggest that reporting accuracy is mostly a within modality characteristic, but further studies are needed to fully understand how higher practice related to body functions can increase accuracy in sensorial modalities.
Original languageEnglish
  • Canaipa, Rita, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • Pain
  • Interoception
  • Accuracy
  • Dancers


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