Learning and Memory

Learning and memory in pediatric chronic pain

Through this research study, we hope to gain understanding on the role of learning and memory as related to pain in children and adolescents. We hypothesize that learning and memory contribute to maintenance and persistence of the pain process. With knowledge gained from this study, we plan to develop better treatments for youth with chronic pain. 

Study Goals: The primary goal of this study is to perform a behavioral and neuroimaging study looking at learning and memory in youth with chronic pain as compared to their healthy peers.  

Our Approach: Visual and auditory stimuli will be presented to study participants to facilitate the learning and memory process. At the same time, we will measure the participants’ sweat responses using finger sensors and take images of their brains in the MRI scanner to determine any differences between the patient and control groups.

Eligibility to participate: 10 – 24 year olds with chronic pain.  Healthy 10 - 24 year old individuals are also eligible to participate in the control group of the study.

Study Visit Overview:  The study is comprised of 6 parts and may take up to 3 hours, plus a 15 minute phone call one month after the study visit:

           1. Pre-surveys (50 min.)
           2. Sensory Testing (10 min.)
           3. Presentation of pictures and sounds + sweat monitoring (30 min.)
           4. Presentation of pictures and sounds + brain MRI (60 min.)
           5. Post-surveys (30 min.)
           6. Follow Up Phone Call (15 min.)

Compensation: Participants will receive $100 in Amazon Gift Codes at the end of the visit along with a CD picture of their brains. If all study visits are attended with a potential of up to 3, participants will be entered into a drawing for a $500 prize that will be drawn every 6 months (odds of winning are 1 in 30!).

Funding Sources: This study is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Corey Kronman by email at corey.kronman@childrens.harvard.edu​ or by phone at (617) 919-4676. 

Meet the Principle Investigator: Laura Simons, PhD