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Neuroscience of Pain: Early Life Adversity, Mechanisms and Treatment

a special topic meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society

NY - October 15, 2016


Neuroscience of Pain: Early Life Adversity, Mechanisms and Treatment

We are pleased to present the recorded sessions from the APS/IASP sponsored meeting below:

October 15, 2016

8:00-10:00am   Session 1: Early adversity and chronic pain: State of the field 
* Gary Macfarlane: The role of early life adversity in the aetiology of Chronic Widespread Pain
* Martin Teicher: Brain structural and functional sequelae of early life adversity
* Mary Meagher: Emotion-pain interactions in women with trauma history

10:00-11:30am   Session 2: What is the role of the prefrontal cortex in acute and chronic pain? 
* Maria Fitzgerald:  Early life trauma and the development of nociceptive systems
* Frank Porreca: Role of anterior cingulate cortex and opioid systems in pain
* Jing Wang: Effects of prefrontal optogenetic stimulation on chronic pain

1:00-2:30pm    Session 3: Linking prefrontal-striatal function, emotion, and pain 
* Tor Wager: A neurobehavioral model of pain and pain avoidance systems
* Lauren Atlas: Effects of expectations (and placebo) on pain: A neural circuit perspective
* Vania Apkarian: Cerebral predictors of pain chronification

3:00-5:00pm   Session 4: Implications for prevention, treatment, and self-regulation
* Lance McCracken: Contextual Cognitive Behavioral Approaches: Monistic, Pragmatic & Progressive
* Catherine Bushnell: Nonpharmacological modulation of chronic pain
* Frances Sommer Anderson: Growing Up Afraid: Early attachment disruption, emotional regulation, and somatic pain
* Richard Lane: An integrated model of emotion, brain, and risk for chronic pain





Mid-Year Meeting: Neuroscience of Pain

It is widely understood that pain is a complex phenomenon, and a primary cause of distress and disability in many medical contexts. However, a precise understanding of the complex neural circuitry involved has not been available. In recent years, new methodological developments have enabled direct measurement and manipulation of the brain in pain, providing new insights into the origins of chronic pain. Moreover, recent longitudinal studies confirm earlier clinical observations that early life adversity greatly increases risk for chronic pain in adult life. These insights are changing the way we think about what pain is, how it is related to emotion, and how it can be successfully prevented and treated.

This research has yielded two emerging, and still controversial, insights: First, pain is more than a set of responses in nociceptive 'pain sensory' circuits. Pain arises from interactions between nociceptive circuits and a wider set of systems involved in emotion, thought, and motivation. Second, dysregulation of these systems in chronic pain may be a primary cause of disability and suffering. A major benefit of psychological and behavioral treatments may be in remodeling these systems, and understanding them at a mechanistic level is critical for refining existing treatments and developing new ones.


Preliminary Schedule


Abstract Submissions

Abstract Submissions is now closed.

Poster specifications are listed here


New York Marriott Downtown

Hotel Information

New York Marriott Downtown
85 West Street at Albany Street
New York, NY 10006 USA

For room reservations, call 877-303-0104 and inform them that you are attending the American Psychosomatic Society meeting, however the APS group rate may no longer be available after September 12, 2016.




Meeting Registration

This meeting takes a multidisciplinary view of the role of forebrain circuits in pain, bringing together perspectives from clinical research and practice, basic neurophysiology, and human cognitive and affective neuroscience. We explore recent advances in understanding how plasticity in emotional and conceptual brain systems may underlie chronic pain, and how these insights may be translated into clinical advances.

The meeting will span 1.5 days.  The first day is a organized into four sessions, with interactive Q&A and  discussion.  The second day will be a closed workshop including invited speakers and guests intended to explore new research agendas - you may indicate an interest in attending the second day during the registration process, and you will be notified if there is availability for that session. Registrations are being accepted on a first come-first served basis, and fees begin at $250. Click here to register for the meeting.




Meeting Cancellation Policy

Cancellations cannot be accepted by phone, and must be in writing via email to info@psychosomatic.org or fax to 703-556-8729. A full refund of all registration fees, minus a $50 processing fee, will be provided for cancellations received by August 28. A 50% refund of all registration fees will be provided for cancellations received by September 11. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after September 11. Extenuating circumstances will be handled on a case by case basis - please contact info@psychosomatic.org if you believe your situation warrants further consideration. All refunds will be processed after the meeting.