Studies Currently Recruiting in the Exercise Psychology Laboratory
Impact of Exercise Training on Pain and Brain Function in Gulf War Veterans
For more information or to participate, please contact Stephanie Van Riper at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608/262-2457
Exercise Psychology Laboratory
Laboratory Facilities and Research Paradigms: The Exercise Psychology Laboratory includes two sound-dampened chambers for use in conducting experimental research, and these testing facilities are supported by state-of-the-art hardware employed in gathering psychophysiological data. An MRI simulator, located in the adjacent Sensory and Motor Control Laboratory, is available for MRI training and behavioral testing. Research in the Exercise Psychology laboratory has been generally concerned with quantifying the psychophysiological responses to exercise. Numerous behavioral methods have been used to determine affective and perceptual responses to exercise including the use of biofeedback, hypnosis, imagery, meditation and traditional relaxation interventions such as autogenic training. More recently, the labs focus has been on the psychophysiologcal aspects of pain, fatigue and perceived exertion during and following exercise. These studies are being conducted in both healthy participants and patients with chronic pain and fatigue and are aimed at understanding the psychophysiological mechanisms that underlie the perceptual experience. Neuroimaging experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are also being conducted to determine neural responses related to pain, fatigue and exercise.
The lab houses or has access to a wide variety of equipment for use in psychophysiological research. For exercise, the laboratory has an electronically braked cycle ergometer (Sensormedics ergoline 8000), a motorized treadmill (Nautilus 5.0), hand dynamometers and a TrueMax 2400 metabolic cart (ParvoMedics). For pain sensitivity, there is a Forgione-Barber type pressure algometer and a Medoc 2001 Thermal Sensory Analyzer. In addition, the lab has an fMRI compatible computer computerized thermal stimulator, the Medoc Pain & Sensory Evaluation System, capable of selectively stimulating A-Delta fibers and C-fibers for sensory research. Investigators in the lab collaborate with the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and have access to a state-of-the-art GE 3T MRI and PET units. Graduate students in this laboratory have also had an opportunity to interact with visiting scientists from other institutions, as well as investigators from other departments on campus such as Psychology, Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Psychiatry, and Preventive Medicine.