The main focus of research in 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 structural and functional brain imaging (MRI, MEG), psychophysical and cognitive assessment.
The lab has been refining brain imaging techniques to allow for clinically relevant investigations of pain in normal and injured states. For instance, we are developing and applying tools to detect the individual differences in brain circuitry underlying pain and the different ways in which people cope with pain and balance cognitive demands with pain. We hope to use these approaches to understand brain abnormalities in chronic pain, treatment responses, and to predict how patients with chronic pain will respond to specific treatments. The lab is also applying these approaches to understand the impact of concussion on brain structure and function.