The NetPhys Lab is a pain and data analytics neuroscience laboratory at the Department of Anesthesia, Pain Managment and Perioperative Medicine at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
NetPhys lab studies neural pathways and mechanisms that control pain perception. Her lab offers evidence for a key role of the brain in altering pain perception with complimentary neuroimaging techniques such as task based and task free fMRI and diffusion weighted tractography. Her lab has reported that variability in brain structure and function explains why many individuals can be prone to biases in pain perception. The underlying system responsible for biases in pain perception are related to systems responsible for updating previously learnt information such as dopaminergic brain structures, large-scale patterns of synchronization in brain BOLD activity and microstructural abnormalities in white matter pathways.
Currently NetPhys lab is testing the validity of the identified features for improving diagnosis and treatment for people suffering with chronic back pain and with fibromyalgia. In addition, her lab is building theoretical frameworks and identifying solutions to rectify preponderance of negative expectations in people suffering with chronic pains. They are studying mindfulness and other types therapeutic strategies for improving expectations and prognosis in chronic pain sufferers.
Our overall goal is to establish the scope and limits as to which we will be able to use brain imaging for predicting pain modulation and other complex behaviors. Another core focus of NetPhys is predictive analytics geared at using multimodal brain imaging data for developing tools to stratify patients into groups and to predict treatment outcomes, especially in people who suffer with chronic pain patients.