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Pain-related fear and –avoidance crucially contribute to pain chronification. People with chronic pain may adopt costly avoidance strategies above and beyond what is necessary, aligning with experimental findings of excessive fear generalization to safe movements in these populations. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that, when avoidance is co...
Excessive generalization of fear and avoidance are hallmark symptoms of chronic pain disability, yet research focusing on the mechanisms underlying generalization of avoidance specifically, is scarce. Two experiments investigated the boundary conditions of costly pain-related avoidance generalization in healthy participants who learned to avoid pai...
Avoidance behavior is a key contributor to the transition from acute pain to chronic pain disability. Yet, there has been a lack of ecologically valid paradigms to experimentally investigate pain-related avoidance. To fill this gap, we developed a paradigm (the robotic arm-reaching paradigm) to investigate the mechanisms underlying the development...
Avoidance is considered a key contributor to the development and maintenance of chronic pain disability, likely through its excessive generalization. This study investigated whether acquired avoidance behavior generalizes to novel but similar movements. Using a robotic arm, participants moved their arm from a starting to a target location via one o...
In chronic pain, pain-related fear seems to overgeneralize to safe stimuli, thus contributing to excessive fear and avoidance behavior. Evidence shows that pain-related fear can be acquired and generalized based on conceptual knowledge. Using a fear conditioning paradigm, we investigated whether this concept-based pain-related fear could also be ex...
The N=1 symposium is a joint venture between KU Leuven and Karolinska Institutet, taking place virtually, on 14-16 April 2021, offering talks from leading experts on SCED research. Due to the great interest in the previous symposium in Stockholm (2018), we have extended the scope of the meeting to include a workshops to offer practical insight and support into SCED research. Symposium website: https://ppw.kuleuven.be/ogp/smallisbeautifulagain2021
Pain-related avoidance is adaptive when averting bodily harm, but excessive spreading to safe situations becomes maladaptive, culminating into chronic pain disability. Avoidance behavior is also self-reinforcing, making it difficult to treat. This project aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying (over)generalization and persistence of avoidance behavior and how to extinguish it.