Dan-Mikael Ellingsen is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in how subjective sensations, especially of pleasure and displeasure, are shaped by externally (sensory) and internally (expectations, attention, motivational state) available information. His research focuses on the processing and regulation of pain and positive affect, placebo effects, and interactions between social relationships and hedonic feelings (pleasure and displeasure). He uses techniques such as functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), measures of the autonomic nervous system, pharmacological stimulation, and self-report. He is currently at Mass. General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where he uses neuroimaging techniques in combination with autonomic and psychophysical measures to understand the neurobiology of the patient-clinician encounter and how the quality of this relationship influences the outcome of medical and psychological treatment.
Dan-Mikael Ellingsen explores the neurochemistry of placebo effects in major depression, as he reviews a recent study of the association between placebo-activated neural systems and antidepressant responses.[read the full story...]