The NetPhys Lab is a pain and data analytics neuroscience laboratory at the Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
NetPhys lab studies neural pathways and mechanisms that control pain perception. Our lab offers evidence for a key role of the brain in altering pain perception with complementary neuroimaging techniques such as task-based and task-free fMRI and diffusion-weighted tractography. We have 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 originates from 1. brain activation differences, 2. large-scale patterns of synchronization in brain BOLD activity and 3. microstructure of white matter pathways.
Currently, NetPhys lab is testing the validity of the identified features for improving diagnosis and treatment for people suffering from chronic back pain and fibromyalgia. In addition, our lab is building theoretical frameworks and identifying solutions to rectify the preponderance of negative expectations in people suffering from chronic pains. We are studying mindfulness and other types of 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 Lab 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 from chronic pain.