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Cutaneous Experimental Pain Research Laboratory

Cutaneous Experimental Pain Research Laboratory

Head of Laboratory: Carsten Dahl Mørch, Associate Professor (CDahl)
This lab is affiliated to the Integrative Neuroscience Research Group

Aim

The aim of the Experimental Cutaneous Pain Research laboratory is to develop, refine and apply techniques for induction and assessment of cutaneous pain. This includes acute pain, hyperalgesia, and allodynia induced by thermal, mechanical, chemical, ultra-violet or electrical stimulation. This provides basic understanding of afferent input, plastic changes, and cognitive aspects consequently leading to the perception of pain.

          

An infrared laser moves the beam around on volar forearm of a volunteer drawing the number '8' The laser radiation coursing an elevation of the skin temperature to a painful level. The subject can recognize some of the numbers. This shows that there is a neural connection between nociceptive afferents and higher cortical centers that integrates complex patterns and interprets these as abstracts figures that are recognized as numbers.

Main Research Areas

  1. Cutaneous stimulation technology developed through mathematical modeling and experimental validation. Recently developed methods includes.
    - Cold stimulator capable of maintaining skin temperatures down to -10°C
    - Temperature controlled infrared laser stimulation providing uniform skin
    - Electrodes preferentially activating nociceptive fibers
    - Spatio-temporal complex infrared laser stimulation
  2. Advanced psychophysical methods used for assessing the nature of cutaneous nociception with focus on spatio-temporal perception.
  3. Sensory integration in the nociceptive system investigated at spinal, cortical, and perceptual levels. Concurrent stimulation by different modalities or repeated stimulations integrates and interacts resulting in changed spinal nociceptive withdrawal reflexes, cortical evoked potentials and perceived stimulation. Cortical processing, such as attention, courses additional top-down modulation of the nociceptive system.

Key Collaborators

  • Asbjørn M. Drewes, Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology, Aalborg Hospital, Denmark
  • Barry Sessle, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Dorit Pud and David Yarnitsky, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
  • Jörg Trojan and Dieter Kleinböhl, University of Mannheim, Otto Selz Institute for Psychology and Educational Science, Laboratory for Clinical Psychophysiology, Germany
  • Peter E Andersen and Ole Bjarlin Jensen, Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University, Denmark
  • Robert C. Coghill, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Location

Fredrik Bajers Vej 7D, 3-111