Robert C. Coghill is focused on delineating the neural mechanisms supporting individual differences in pain. His research interleaves data obtained with functional MRI of brain activity with subjective reports of pain and psychological state. His work encompasses studies of the effects of expectations on pain, brain mechanisms supporting attention to pain, and processes associated with the cognitive modulation of pain. He is also highly interested in understanding how the nervous system evaluates and constructs an experience of sensory components of pain, including perceived intensity and location. Dr. Coghill also seeks to develop of better tools for the measurement of multiple dimensions of the pain experience.
Together, these pain assessments, psychological profiles, and neuroimaging endpoints can be used in combination to develop strategies to better predict, diagnose, and treat pain. More importantly, this research will be critically important for advancing personalized medicine, with the long-term goal of identifying the best treatment for each individual child.
Chronic pain; acute pain; brain imaging; sensory testing
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Behavioral Medicine, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Imaging, Behavioral Medicine