Pain and Cognition
Our group was the first to investigate how cognitive processes interact with pain processing with functional imaging methods, and suggested a high hierarchy network involved in such top-down regulation. Note, that this was ahead of groups showing a similar top-down network involved in regulation of emotional processes. We showed that orbitofrontal cortex was involved in distraction induced analgesia (Petrovic et al Pain 2000). We also showed that coping with pain involved a decreased activity in amygdala (Petrovic et al Neuroimage 2004) and that early pain is predominantly processed by the brainstem (Petrovic et al Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2004). Our research on cognitive modulation of pain has had a large impact on the following studies in that field.