Nociceptive processing in the human brain
Pain is a complex and unresolved problem for society, and therefore for neuroscience. My research aims to understand how nociceptive input is processed in the nervous system, generating pain experiences, and to identify how these processes are altered by injury and inflammation. I contribute to address these questions using a combination of neuroimaging techniques and psychophysical tasks in healthy people and chronic pain patients. In this talk, I will discuss our current understanding of how nociceptive input is coded and discriminated in terms of intensity and spatial features (i.e. how much and where it hurts). I will also present evidence challenging the popular notion that chronic pain induces maladaptive plasticity in primary somatosensory cortex.