LPN: The Laboratory of Psychobiology and Neurophysiology

The Laboratory of Psychobiology and Neurophysiology (LPN) is part of the research subdomain “Stress, Pain and Pain Modulation” (Head: Prof. Fernand Anton) within INSIDE’s research domain Psychosocial Stress and Health.

A main research interest of our team is the impact of stress and altered stress hormone levels (adrenocortical reactivity) on the development and maintenance of enhanced pain sensitivity. For this purpose, we perfom complementary psychophysical/psychophysiological experimental and clinical studies in humans as well as neurobiological and behavioral experiments in animal models. Additional more recently initiated psychophysiological research activities are devoted to endogenous pain control systems and their dependence on psychological processes like classical conditioning, expectancies and placebo-related effects.

Psychobiology and psychophysics  (research in humans):
  • Fully equipped psychophysiology setup (Biopac system)
  • Devices for controlled and defined somatosensory and noxious stimulation
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in collaboration with a local hospital
Neurophysiology (research in animals):
  • Behaviour: devices for the measurement of pain thresholds in behaving rats, plethysmography for the measurement of inflammation-induced swelling, devices for the induction of restraint stress and social defeat stress in rats
  • Immunocytochemistry/Biochemistry: fully equipped standard facility, microscopy, ELISA, PCR-equipment, western blotting
  • Electrophysiology: equipment for induction and monitoring of anaesthesia, equipment for extracellular single unit recordingin vivo, sensory stimulation devices. Additional laboratory for in vitrorecording (patch clamp, CNS slices).

Research in LPN is carried under appropriate supervision by staff, doctoral and post-doctoral students.