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We are happy to present Katharina Schmidts‘ (Post-Doc A11) pilot study “Appetitive and aversive learning of pain-related fear in chronic low back pain patients” aiming at developing and transfering an experimental paradigm, which investigates learning mechanisms of stimuli predicting pain increase and pain relief to chronic pain patients. The acquisition, extinction, and reinstatement will be investigated on two consecutive days using a capsaicin heat pain model. Further the feasibility of the paradigm in this patient group will be tested to prepare a future fMRI study.

In multimodal pain therapy, for example, factors such as fear of pain, avoidance behaviour and reward could be potential starting points in the future to reduce pain-induced impairments and thus improve the quality of life of chronic pain patients. The innovative character of this study is based on the combination of this unique paradigm and the valuable sample of patients. Findings from this planned preliminary study are relevant for the SFB 1280, in particular for the subprojects working with pain, and can be used for the following funding phases.

The SFB 1280 has set up a budget for the realisation of the research ideas of its young scientists. With the „treasure box“ we finance convincing and independent study concepts of young scientists.