Mind & Life International Research Institute

Mind & Life International Research Institute

Graduate student Steven Anderson presented his research on the relationship between emotion regulation ability and empathy for pain at the first Mind & Life International Research Institute in Kyoto, Japan, held September 1-5. Steven presented data that he collected in Shihui Han's Culture and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Peking University under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Program. Investigating how belief in the social appropriateness of outward pain expression relates to emotion regulation and empathy for pain, Steven found that individuals who habitually suppress their emotions are more likely to deem outward pain expression as inappropriate. He also found neuroimaging evidence that suggests that greater belief that outward pain expression is inappropriate is associated with decreases in activity in brain regions previously associated with visual and empathic responding when passively viewing faces of individuals in pain.

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Research on Health Disparities Featured in UM Magazine

Research on Health Disparities Featured in UM Magazine

Miami: The University of Miami Magazine featured Dr. Elizabeth Losin and the lab's research on the intersection between pain perception and cultural disparities in their faculty spotlight "Faculty Files" section. The article discussed the lab's current lines of research, as well as how Liz's research interests developed to include work on pain and opioid prescribing. Read the full article here.

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Miami Area Summer Research Symposium 2018

Miami Area Summer Research Symposium 2018

Summer intern Efrain Rodriguez Sierra presented a poster on his summer research project entitled "Evaluating components of bicultural identity in Puerto Ricans and other Latin Americans residing in the United States" as a part of his participation in The Leadership Alliance Program. Efra's project demonstrated that level of ethnic identification with images evocative of Hispanic culture, but not images of American culture, is impacted by age of arrival into the US. He also found that ethnic identification with representations from both cultural backgrounds was not significantly different between Puerto Ricans and other Latino Americans residing in the United States. This finding demonstrates Latino Americans in general share more similarities than differences in their patterns of bicultural involvement.

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Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2018

Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2018

Graduate student Steven Anderson presented his research on the emotion regulation strategy expressive suppression at the annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) in Singapore, held June 17-21. He presented data that he collected in Shihui Han's Culture and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Peking University as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Program. Steven found common recruitment of prefrontal cortical regions during the latter part of engaging in expressive suppression to both pain faces and negative affective pictures. He found significant differences in brain activity between the two stimulus types in the right amygdala, with greater amygdala activity toward pain faces vs. negative affective pictures especially in the earlier part of engaging in expressive suppression.

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Brainhack 2018

Brainhack 2018

Each year, neuroimaging researchers from UM and FIU gather together for Brainhack: a one-day conference that involves a series of faculty talks, collaborative "hacking" sessions, and a trainee data blitz. Today, at Brainhack 2018, SCN Lab members Steven Anderson, Morgan Gianola, and Jenna Perry each gave brief talks on their respective lines of research. Great job, everyone!

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Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program

Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program

Congratulations to Efrain Rodriguez who has been selected for a fully paid summer internship with The Leadership Alliance's Summer Research Early Identification Program. Efrain is a current junior at the University of Puerto Rico. This summer, Efrain will be working with graduate student Morgan Gianola on a project investigating pain perception in English-Spanish bilinguals. 

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Lois Pope Neuroscience Summer Research Scholarship

Lois Pope Neuroscience Summer Research Scholarship

Congratulations to undergraduate research assistant Madeleine Snider, who was selected to receive funding from the University of Miami through the Lois Pope Neuroscience Summer Research Scholarship. This fellowship will allow Madeleine to return to the lab over the summer to work as an undergraduate research fellow. During this time she will continue her work studying opioid prescribing disparities.

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NIH K01 Grant for Research on Disparities in Pain Treatment

NIH K01 Grant for Research on Disparities in Pain Treatment

Dr. Elizabeth Losin recently was awarded a K01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled "Psychological and Brain Mechanisms Underlying Disparities in Opioid and Non-Opioid Pain Treatment Decisions.". The K01 grant is a prestigious award for early career scientists, intended to provide financial resources for an intensive mentored project. This grant will allow our lab to study the factors leading to opioid prescribing disparities across different groups. The project will involve the creation of a stimulus set specifically designed to be ecologically valid, and the later use of this stimulus set in an fMRI setting to determine which brain areas are associated with clinicians viewing others' pain and making prescription decisions. There are also plans to bring in clinicians to make face-to-face assessments of pain using standardized patient actors, so as to help determine how the study's findings can be applied to clinical settings in order to reduce the negative impacts of pain stereotypes. All in all, our lab is very excited to begin work on this important project!

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Pain research featured by UM

Pain research featured by UM

Dr. Elizabeth Losin and the SCN Lab's research on pain perception and communication were featured in an "Immersive Learning" special report by the University of Miami News. In the report, Liz discusses the nature of our research, various factors that may impact pain reporting in clinical settings, and a potential new grant that would allow us to study neural mechanisms operating when clinicians make judgments about their patients' pain.

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New Paper in Collaboration with CANLab and Others

New Paper in Collaboration with CANLab and Others

We have a new paper published in Nature Neuroscience with collaborators in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab (at CU Boulder) and others. We used functional MRI data across 18 studies to address the relationship between the medial frontal cortex (MFC) and pain, cognitive control, and negative emotion. We found similar patterns of brain activation across studies within these cognitive domains but distinct patterns between them, suggesting domain-specific representations of pain, cognitive control, and negative emotion in the MFC and nearby brain regions.

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