How do we process pain sensation? Which psychological and neural mechanisms--by which expectations and other cognitive and affective factors--influence pain, emotional experience, and clinical outcomes? These are just a few questions that the labs in our Intramural Research Program investigate here on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD.
Our Division of Intramural Research Program (DIR) conducts basic, clinical, and translational research focusing on the role of the brain in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain. Research projects include investigations into the role of the brain in pain processing and control, and how factors such as emotion, attention, environment, and genetics affect pain perception. Chronic pain disorders studied include fibromyalgia, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, and others. We collaborate with other intramural neuroscience, imaging, and mental and behavioral health research programs.