Pain is affected by our predictions. For example, in some contexts, an unexpected noxious stimulus can elicit more aversion than an expected one. So, it is not surprising that humans and other animals often want to know the probability and timing of noxious events; and when they experience uncertainty about aversive events that they cannot resolve, they often express anxiety-like behaviors.
In the Pain Center, we will study the behavioral and neuronal mechanisms that mediate prediction of aversive stimuli under uncertainty to understand how prediction and expectation of pain guides learning, every-day decision making, and mood. This work will involve mice and non-rodent models (e.g. humans) to understand the behavioral and neuronal mechanisms of aversion.