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Karen D Davis, PhD

Head
Division of Brain, Imaging & Behaviour Systems
Toronto Western Research Institute (TWRI)

Senior Scientist
Division of Brain, Imaging & Behaviour Systems
Toronto Western Research Institute (TWRI)

Keywords: electrophysiology, pain, attention, fMRI, psychophysics, cortex, OCD 

Research Interests
The main interest of my lab is the central mechanisms underlying pain and temperature perception, the influence of attention, and mechanisms of plasticity under normal conditions and in patients with neurologic or psychiatric disorders. A variety of experimental techniques are used, including functional brain imaging (fMRI, PET), psychophysical and cognitive assessment, and electrophysiological recordings in the thalamus and cortex.

The lab has been refining imaging and electrophysiological techniques to allow for clinically-relevant investigations of pain, temperature sense and movement disorders in normal and injured states. For instance, we are developing tools to detect brain activity related to at different perceptual outcomes evoked by thermal and painful stimuli and how these are altered in different attentional states. For instance, whether separate cortical or thalamic regions are involved in specific tasks (such as was found for attention and pain-regions in the cingulate cortex) reveal important organizational patterns in normal and diseased states. These data may assist in diagnoses (pre-surgical, psychiatric, etc.) in a variety of patient groups.

Specific projects include:

  • Psychophysical studies of acute pain qualities
  • Functional and structural MRI studies of acute pain qualities prickling pain, cold pain, etc.).
  • Physiological, psychophysical, fMRI and structural MRI studies of chronic pains (e.g., temporomandibular disorder, neuropathic pain)
  • Psychophysical, functional and structural MRI studies of the interaction between pain and attention
  • Behavioural and imaging studies of individual factors (e.g., personality, coping) contributing to pain sensitivity
  • Brain imaging studies of sports-related concussions



  • Additional Appointments
    • Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

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      Karen  D Davis
    Mailing Address
    Primary LAB
    Toronto Western Hospital
    Main Pavilion
    14th floor Rm 14MP301
    399 Bathurst St.
    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada M5T 2S8

    Primary LAB
    Toronto Western Hospital
    Main Pavilion
    14th Floor Rm 14MP306
    399 Bathurst St.
    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada M5T 2S8

     
    Email

    Phone Numbers
    416-603-5662(Primary)
    416-603-5745(FAX)
    416-603-5882(LAB)
    416-603-5502(LAB)

     
    Staff and Trainees
    Aaron Kucyi  
    Danielle DeSouza 
    Geoffrey Pope 
    Joshua Cheng  
    Kasey Hemington  
    Marie-Andrée Coulombe  
    Qi Wu  
    Ruma Goswami  

       
     
     
     
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