National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health

Información en Español

Health Topics A-Z

Research Interests—Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain


Lauren Y. Atlas, Ph.D., leads the Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain in the NCCIH Intramural Research Program. The lab’s work focuses on characterizing the psychological and neural mechanisms by which expectations and other cognitive and affective factors influence pain, emotional experience, and clinical outcomes. Our approach is multi–modal: we integrate experimental psychology, neuroimaging, psychophysiology, computational approaches, and other interventions to understand how psychological and contextual factors influence subjective experience. Current projects focus on dissociating components of expectancy (e.g., instructions vs. conditioning; stimulus vs. treatment expectancies), relating pain with other types of hedonic affective responses, and understanding social influences on pain (e.g. patient-provider interactions; health disparities). Long–term goals include revealing how specific features of the clinical context and interpersonal aspects influence patient outcomes, as well as determining whether expectancy–based processing is altered in specific patient populations.

Back to Division of Intramural Research

This page last modified January 25, 2019