The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon grant to Teuni ten Brink, a researcher in Experimental Psychology. This grant is intended for promising scientists who have recently obtained their doctorates. The Rubicon grant will enable Ten Brink to gain international research experience over the next two years. The Utrecht University researcher will be heading to the University of Bath in the United Kingdom in August.
Scientific talent Teuni ten Brink receives Rubicon grant
Ten Brink conducts research on the role of attention in chronic pain. The grant recipient explains: ‘I work with patients who suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). These patients have severe unexplainable pain in a limb: a pain that persists and is disproportionate. This could be someone who has fractured their wrist, for instance, and continues to experience pain that is disproportionate to the former fracture.’
The role of attention
Patients with CRPS not only indicate that they have severe and persistent pain, they also often report reduced attention to the affected body part. ‘If the left wrist has been fractured and the pain remains disproportionate, many patients simultaneously indicate that they pay less attention to that wrist. This sounds rather paradoxical. I want to find out what role attention plays in that disproportionate pain, and whether the pain might be lower if we encourage the patient to draw his attention to the affected body part.’
Collaboration with Dr Bultitude
While in Bath, Ten Brink hopes to collaborate with Dr Bultitude. ‘She is an excellent researcher and has conducted a great deal of research into attention processes in CRPS patients.’ There also seems to be a high level of contact between the researchers, patients and practitioners in Bath. ‘I think this is crucial in order to properly carry out this type of research.’
In addition to Ten Brink, sixteen other young researchers have also received a Rubicon grant. Information about the recipients and their research can be found on the NWO website.
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