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Aversive bodily sensations such as pain, breathlessness and tinnitus are very common. Initially, they serve an important protective function by motivating behaviors that support recovery and healing. However, when these sensations persist and turn into chronic bodily symptoms, they cease to be protective, and elicit significant suffering, disability, and costs. The interdisciplinary ASTHENES research program aims at improving our understanding of biobehavioral processes involved in developing and reversing a chronic course of aversive bodily symptoms, as well as the person-specific vulnerabilities and resiliency factors therein. This research program is now at full operating speed, and the AsthenesLAB will successfully further our scientific breakthroughs: (1) EEG Error-Related Negativity as a neural endophenotype for the development of bodily symptoms, (2) Avoidance of bodily threat in virtual environments using robot technology and (3) Trancutaneous Vagal Nerve stimulation to enhance extinction learning. AsthenesLAB will support a strong interdisciplinary research team including psychology, psychiatry, gastroenterology, audiology, pneumology and rehabilitation jointly interrogating how the chronification of bodily symptoms is related to specific psychological, medical and neural factors. The overarching aim is to establish jointly an integrated multilevel and multidisciplinary model of chronic bodily symptoms, which contributes to novel and improved treatment options.

Date:1 May 2020 →  Today
Keywords:EEG Error-Related Negativity, Trancutaneous Vagal Nerve stimulation, chronic bodily symptoms
Disciplines:Health psychology, Neuroimaging, Respiratory medicine not elsewhere classified, Biological and physiological psychology not elsewhere classified, Sensory processes and perception