van der Meulen

Dr. Marian van der Meulen is a research scientist working on the neuropsychology of pain. She joined the University of Luxembourg in 2011, after completing a postdoctoral research project in cognitive neuroimaging at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). She received her PhD in cognitive neuropsychology from the University of Edinburgh (UK), and holds an MSc degree in biology from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands).

Her research focuses on psychological, physiological and neural processes related to pain perception, such as cognitive pain modulation, endogenous pain control systems, expectation and attentional processes and placebo-related effects. Her research methods include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electro-encephalography (EEG), as well as psychophysiological measurements and quantitative sensory testing.  

Dr. Van der Meulen is currently PI on an FNR-funded research project entitled “Age-related changes in human pain perception and modulation: Evidence from functional brain imaging” (ACHE). This project uses both fMRI and EEG to explore how aging affects pain perception and the influence of factors such as attention, beliefs and expectations.

She is also co-PI on a clinical project entitled “Quantitative sensory profiling in chronic pain patients undergoing high frequency spinal cord stimulation therapy”. This study is conducted in collaboration with the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) and funded by Nevro Corporation, USA. In this project, we are exploring the mechanism of action of high frequency spinal cord stimulation. Chronic back pain patients undergo a quantitative sensory test battery before treatment and at certain intervals during a follow-up period of at least one year post-surgery.

Research interests

Latest content Marian van der Meulen took part in

Behavioural & Cognitive Sciences
How does pain change with age?
The impact of ageing on the way pain is processed is not yet clearly understood. We are looking at brain activity to examine the way psychological factors can modulate pain in young and older people. A fuller understanding of the way pain perception changes when we get older may lead to better treatment strategies targeted towards older adults.