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The Brain in Pain


Thu 18 Mar 2021, 5:30pm–6:30pm

Where: Otago Museum, 419 Great King Street, Dunedin, Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

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Listed by: Otago Museum

The brain is fundamentally a prediction machine that generates pain as way to motivate us to adjust our behaviour to the environment. That is why all animals, including humans, have the circuitry to run away from pain. However, sometimes the pain becomes detached from the painful stimulus and becomes chronic. This is characterised by an abnormal brain signature that can be detected by artificial intelligence.

Dr Divya Adhia and Dr Dirk De Ridder discuss how using sophisticated, technologically-advanced brain stimulation and brain training devices you can attempt to disrupt the abnormal activity and abnormal connections in the brain, if other treatments fail.

Dr Divya Adhia is a Research Fellow at the Department of Surgical Sciences, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago. She is an early career researcher with a focus on using neurofeedback and non-invasive techniques in a variety of disorders such as chronic Pain, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, tinnitus, and depression, and reward-deficiency syndromes. Dr Adhia has been recently awarded the HRC Emerging Researcher First Grant for exploring novel non-invasive treatment of chronic low back pain.

Dirk De Ridder, MD, PhD, is the Neurological Foundation professor of Neurosurgery at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago in New Zealand. His main research interest is the understanding and treatment of phantom perceptions like sound and pain. Currently he is focusing on finding commonalities in different diseases such as in thalamocortical dysrhythmias (pain, tinnitus, Parkinson disease, depression, slow wave epilepsy) and reward deficiency syndromes (addiction, OCD, Personality disorders).

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