September 07, 2016
The laboratory of Glenn Stevenson, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology and coordinator of the Neuroscience major, recently published an original research paper in the journal Drug Development Research, on the interaction between pain and motivation.
The project was performed by several current and former Stevenson laboratory undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences. Emily Warner (Neuroscience, ’16) was first author on the publication. Additional student co-authors included Rebecca Krivitsky (Neuroscience, ’16), Katherine Cone (Medical Biology/Neuroscience, ’15), Phillip Atherton (Nursing, ’15), Travis Pitre (Neursocience, ’16) and Janell Lanpher (Psychology, ’17).
According to Stevenson, there has been increasing interest in the pain field for developing animal models of the affective dimensions of pain, including motivation. This paper is among the first few publications in the literature to quantify affective measures in rats using sophisticated operant conditioning procedures. The results indicate that this operant assay may be useful for assessing the motivational/cognitive aspects of pain, which are typically quite challenging to treat. The hope is that, if further validated, it may provide a platform to screen the ability of candidate analgesic drugs to alleviate the negative affective-like components of pain in both veterinary and human populations.
Additional authors and collaborators included Denise Giuvelis and Ivy Bergquist from the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences – Behavioral Core, and UNE faculty, Ed Bilsky, Ph.D., vice president for Research and Scholarship, and Tamara King, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Funding for the research was provided by an NIH/NIAMS R15 AREA grant to Stevenson.
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