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We aim to understand how the brain processes pain, with a particular focus on computation and information processing.

Lab photo

We focus on the computational neuroscience of pain and aversive learning, aiming to understand the fundamental information-processing mechanisms that underlie perception and decision-making for aversive outcomes, especially pain. The research has a strong foundation in animal learning theory and psychology, and we combine theoretical approaches with neuroimaging, bioengineering and behavioural techniques such as virtual reality and neurorobotics. More broadly, we are interested in mechanisms of behavioural homeostasis, and how pain and anxiety are related to sleep, appetite and mood.

One of our translational aims is to develop new technologies for chronic pain (clinical neuroengineering). We have strong links with colleagues in many disciplines, including engineering, experimental psychology, and clinical medicine.

The lab spans Medical Sciences and Engineering. We are part of the Neurotechnology Group at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, and we also oversee the UKRI Neurotechnology for Chronic Pain Network with colleagues in Cardiff, Glasgow, Plymouth and Exeter. We are part of the Advanced Pain Discovery Platform funded by UKRI and Versus Arthritis. We have strong international links, especially with colleagues in Japan, China and South Korea.

Selected publications

Team members in the Department of Engineering

Shuangyi Tong