Speaker: Lauren Atlas, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Clinical Investigator / Section Chief, National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes on Drug Abuse)
Date: January 24, 2018
Talk title: How instructions, expectations, and conditioning modulate pain and aversive learning.
Abstract: In this talk I will present recent work examining how instructions, expectations, and associative learning jointly influence pain and aversive learning. In a series of experiments, we combined experimental manipulations with computational models to isolate the influences of these factors on subjective pain, aversive learning, and physiological responses. We found that these factors were supported by both interactions and dissociations in neural pathways. More recent work indicates that individual differences in state anxiety moderate these effects. I will discuss the clinical implications of these findings, as well as broader conclusions about how cognitive factors shape perception, including subjective outcomes such as pain.