Chronic pain affects 1 in 5 people and is the leading cause of disability in the world. In many cases, it is not clear why pain persists for long periods of time and why some people are more vulnerable to develop chronic pain than others.
The brain does not passively receive information from the nerves but rather interprets these signals based on what it already knows, anticipating and trying to adjust its responses to what will happen next. Our research aims to discover how the human brain accomplishes these fundamental functions in pain states. This is important because how the brain interprets pain signals affects its ability to regulate its response to pain, and possibly also how much it hurts. We hope that this research will improve the prevention, treatment and management of chronic pain.