Monika Halicka - former postdoc
People with chronic pain can have distorted cognitive representations of their painful body part and its surroundings. These problems affect patients’ abilities to normally perceive and act in their environment with the painful body part, and can worsen their symptoms. Looking into the brain mechanisms of specific cognitive difficulties can help us better understand how they may contribute to the clinical symptoms. My project investigates how patients process the information close to their painful body part by using behavioural and virtual manipulations and recording their brain responses. I am also testing a novel rehabilitation method using virtual reality to manipulate what patients see when they make reaching movements with their painful arm, and make them learn to flexibly adapt their movements to the changing environment. Demonstrating whether such intervention can alleviate patients’ pain would support integrating broader neuropsychological rehabilitation methods with classic medical interventions for effective pain management.