Functional MRI showing brain activity during perception of pain.
© SFB Treatment Expectation
How do anxiety and expectation control pain?
Thoughts, experiences and expectations can increase or decrease the sensation of pain. What are the psychological and neural mechanisms that underlie this effect, and what role is played by the neurotransmitter dopamine and anxiety? To find out, our researchers use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to visualise brain activity.
The role of dopamine and anxiety in treatment expectations and their effect on pain
In two closely linked fMRI studies, this project investigates the common and distinct neural (and neurochemical) mechanisms underlying the effect of positive and negative treatment expectations on pain. Study 1 considers the dopaminergic mesolimbic reward system (pharmacological modulation with sulpiride), while study 2 examines the high clinical significance of anxiety (pharmacological modulation with midazolam). Both explore the effect of these pharmacological modulations on the development, strength and duration of the expectation effect on experimental pain in healthy participants.
Bingel U, Wanigasekera V, Wiech K, Mhuircheartaigh R, Lee MC, Ploner M, Tracey I (2011) The effect of treatment expectation on drug efficacy: imaging the analgesic benefit of the opioid remifentanil. Science Transl Med 70. 70ra14. PubMed
Wrobel N, Wiech K, Forkmann K, Ritter C, Bingel U (2014) Haloperidol blocks dorsal striatum activity but not analgesia in a placebo paradigm. Cortex 57: 60-73. PubMed
Zunhammer M, Ploner M, Engelbrecht C, Bock J, Kessner SS, Bingel U (2017) The effects of treatment failure generalize across different routes of drug administration. Sci Transl Med 9(393) pii: eaal2999. PubMed
Zunhammer M, Bingel U, Wager TD; Placebo Imaging Consortium (2018) Placebo effects on the neurologic pain signature: A meta-analysis of individual participant functional magnetic resonance imaging data. JAMA Neurol 75(11):1321-1330. PubMed
In close cooperation with these projects
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Bingel
Dr. Angelika Kunkel
Dr. Katharina Schmidt
Postdoc, Psychologist, Neuroscientist
Dr. Julian Kleine-Borgmann
Elif Buse Calsikan, Helena Klauss, Isabel Krüger, Torben Strietzel, Joshua Weyer