L.A.B. lab is dedicated to the study of one of the world’s great mysteries: how the brain gives rise to subjective feelings. Electrical and chemical signals in the physical brain give rise to experiences such as the pleasure we experience when we take a sip of wine or reunite with our loved ones. But how this happens is still poorly understood.
The Leknes Affective Brain lab (formerly Hedonic Pharmacology lab, see below*) uses cognitive, social and affective neuroscience methods to probe the hedonic brain. We believe that understanding how the healthy human brain encodes subjective and objective value is crucial for improving treatment of e.g. substance use disorder and chronic pain.
As such, our work is translational, aiming to fill the knowledge gap between rodent models and patient studies.
What does hedonic mean? It refers to a particular quality of a feeling, i.e. if it is good or bad. The sting of chilli is hot, sharp – and depending on your preferences, it can feel very pleasant or rather aversive, or even give rise to seemingly contradictory feelings such as pleasurable pain.