My primary area of research is pain. My approach throughout the years has been multifaceted, investigating a wide range of mechanisms underlying pain and treatment of pain using advanced neurophysiological methods and psychophysical measurements. In my lab I study brain functions in relation to pain by combining brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) and electrophysiological techniques (electroencephalography (EEG), evoked potentials and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)). I am using the above mentioned technologies to explore activity patterns and neuro-anatomical changes in the brain of patients with clinical pain conditions and comprehend the interaction between pain, cognition and emotions in chronic pain. Additionally, I study brain mechanisms that subserve and regulate pain in the healthy state in order to identify alterations in mechanisms supporting pain modulation in chronic pain disorders including their therapeutic relevance. The development of better diagnosis and treatment of pain is currently hampered by incomplete understanding of individual differences in pain and the impact that they have on pain treatment is particularly limited. Toward this aim I am studying the role individual differences in brain morphology and neurophysiology in the prediction of treatment success.
Past research projects
- The activity patterns and neuro-anatomical changes in the brain of patients with clinical pain conditions: the interaction between clinical pain, attention and cognition.
- The inter-relations between two endogenous analgesia mechanisms using psychophysical measurements and brain imaging.
- The relation between maximal anaerobic performance and pain perception, lactic acid, and psychological factors in healthy subjects.
- The function of the endogenous analgesia mechanisms in sensory modulation disorder.
Current research projects
- Multiparametric MRI approach for studying the endogenous analgesia mechanism in health, in migraine and in predicting the efficacy of its pharmacological prevention.
- The physiological, psychophysical, and psychological mechanisms underlie painful bladder syndrome: investigation the disease pathophysiology and myofascial physical therapy success.
- Integration of neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation: an exploration of the neuroplasticity of endogenous analgesia in health and chronic pain.
- Inter-brain synchrony in the context of empathy and pain- combining behavioral measures with novel dual-EEG recording and autonomic measurements in order to characterize the mechanisms of social synchrony in the context of romantic intimacy during exposure to noxious stimulation.
- Pain inhibition mechanisms during transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation applied for the relief of primary Dysmenorrhoea.
- Sex-differences in brain neural networks that are recruited during pain processing and modulation.
- The effect of motor and -frontal cortical activation on experimental pain perception: a translational study from laboratory setup to real-life approach.
Future research projects
- Pain in autism spectrum disorder: a psychophysical and neurophysiologic study.
- Psycho-physical aspects of inter-relations between pain perception and aerobic exercise and maximal anaerobic performance.