Physiology and Pain Research
The CINN Pain Lab is a specialised lab dedicated to the psychophysical assessment of pain in healthy controls and patients. Our primary aims are focused on identifying individual differences in pain mechanisms that may predispose vulnerability or resilience to pain. Using thermal stimulation, alongside a variety of psychologically-orientated experiments, we are able to calibrate pain profiles for our participants, and use these to make predictions about how they respond to variety of pain-related outcomes; such as response to pain-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy or clinical outcomes after knee surgery. We are also keenly interested in understanding mechanisms of learned helplessness and building models that may help us understand why some people are predisposed to helplessness after exposure to inescapable pain.
The PAIN Lab uses a number of specialist equipment to deliver painful stimuli in a controlled environment. The Medoc Pathway Thermal Stimulator is used to deliver painful and non-painful stimuli at a temperature range of 0ºC to 55ºC (expandable to -10ºC to 55ºC) with heating and cooling rate of up to 8ºC/sec. This feature can also be applied in the MR scanner, through the Medoc MR Filter, allowing us to measure the neural activity associated with painful stimulation. We also use a Julabo Waterbath to apply pain to the entire hand by immersing it in cold/hot water, whilst Von Frey Hairs are used to deliver pain by applying force to the skin.