Neural and computational bases of pain perception and modulation
Why do people feel pain differently, and why does it last longer for some even after healing? Despite decades of research in the neuroscience of pain, our understanding of how pain is generated and modulated in the brain remains limited. Here, we aim to combine mathematical approaches and advanced brain scanning techniques to gain a better understanding of the pain system. Specifically, we will perform two complementary brain imaging experiments with healthy adults to gain new insights in the complex world of pain perception. The first experiment explores the unique concept of how our expectations and knowledge can impact our experience of pain, shedding light on the intricate ways our beliefs shape our pain perception. The second experiment delves into the motivational dimensions of pain, highlighting the idea that our drive to achieve goals or learn new information can influence how we feel pain. These experiments will use a computational approach to describe participants perception and behaviour with mathematical models and then link the parameters of these models to brain activity. Through these experiments, we hope to develop a better understanding of the factors that influence pain perception. With this knowledge, we could ultimately understand why pain persists in some individuals and identify novel targets to provide improved treatment options for those suffering from chronic pain conditions.
Michel-Pierre Coll , Université Laval
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