Psychophysiology and Pain Psychophysics Section

Psychophysiology and Pain Psychophysics Section


Psychophysiology and Pain Psychophysics Section

The Psychophysiology and Pain Psychophysics section of the Neuroimaging and Psychophysiology core is an integration of three long established laboratories in the Semel Institute and Dept. of Medicine – the NPI Startle (now Psychobiology) laboratory established by E. Ornitz, the Psychophysiology laboratory established by D. Shapiro, and the Pain Psychophysiology laboratory established by B. Naliboff. The integration of these laboratories was formalized and received infrastructure funding via an R24 Center Grant in 2004 (PI: E. Mayer, Core PI: B. Naliboff).

Currently the Psychophysiology and Pain Psychophysics section of the Core includes two separate laboratory suites on the second floor of the Semel Institute as well as several mobile recording set-ups that can be used in procedure units and imaging facilities. The faculty of the Core has extensive expertise in the recording, analysis and experimental design issues related to psychophysiology and pain measurement. The Aims of the section are to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure for: 1) collaborative studies in pain, stress emotion and sex differences in these responses, 2) testing integrative hypotheses regarding the association of CNS and peripheral responses, and 3) training in psychophysiology and perceptual methods related to the primary themes of the overall Center.

 

Psychobiology Lab

Recording and processing of eye blink startle (EMG and EOG), lower limb nociceptive reflex (RIII EMG), skin conductance, heart rate and heart rate variability, respiration. Fully programmable visual, auditory and shock stimulation.

Example Protocols:

Acoustic Eye Blink Startle

  • Pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of startle and modulation of PPI via threat of shock or conditioning
  • Evaluation of startle modulation by predictable and unpredictable threat (from electric shock)
  • Affective modulation of startle (using pictures and faces)
  • Conscious modulation of affective responses assessed by startle Lower limb nociceptive flexion (or RIII) reflex (a measure of nociceptive signaling)
  • Modulation by affective pictures
  • Modulation by threat of shock
  • Autonomic responses to affective stimuli, pain, and fear conditioning


Psychophysiology Lab

Recording and processing of sympathetic and parasympathetic ANS measures including: heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance, beat-by-beat blood pressure, cardiac impedance measures (e.g. PEP), and baroreceptor reflex. Fully implemented Biopac recording and analysis system. Approved devices for delivery of thermal, pressure, and electrical stimulation for pain studies. Fully programmable visual and auditory stimuli.

Example Protocols:

  • ANS and subjective responses to physical and psychosocial stressors
  • ANS and subjective responses to acute and tonic experimental pain
  • Advanced psychophysical assessment of pain responses to cutaneous heat, cold, pressure and electrical stimulation
  • Assessment of pain modulation system via protocols of descending inhibitory controls (DNIC) and temporal summation or wind-up.

Selected Publications:

  1. Kilpatrick, LA, Ornitz, E, Ibrahimovic, H, Treanor, M, Craske, M, Nazarian, M, Mayer, EA, Naliboff, BD. Sex-related differences in prepulse inhibition in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Psychological Medicine, 84(2):272-8, 2010 PMID: 20193731 PMCID: PMC2875286
  2. Ottaviani C, Shapiro D, Davydov DM, Goldstein IB, Mills PJ. The autonomic phenotype of rumination. Int J Psychophysiol. 2009 72:267-75, 2009 PMID: 19272312
  3. Craske MG, Waters AM, Nazarian M, Mineka S, Zinbarg RE, Griffith JW, Naliboff B, Ornitz EM. Does neuroticism in adolescents moderate contextual and explicit threat cue modulation of the startle reflex? Biol Psychiatry. 65:220-6. 2009 PMID: 18789433 PMCID: PMC2648850
  4. Naliboff BD, Waters A, Labus J, Murphy S, Mayer EA, Ornitz E. Increased Acoustic Startle Responses in IBS Patients During Abdominal and Nonabdominal Threat. Psychosomatic Medicine, 70, 920-927, 2008 PMID: 18842745
  5. Eisenberger, N.I., Jarcho, J.M., Lieberman, M.D., Naliboff, B.D. An experimental study of shared sensitivity to physical pain and social rejection. Pain. 15;126(1-3):132-8, 2006 PMID: 16890354