Lab: Clinical Psychophysiology

Instructor: Dr. Christopher France

Current projects:



Pain and Risk for Hypertension

Factors like family history of hypertension, high blood pressure, and increased cardiovascular reactivity have been associated with decreased sensitivity to pain. Our research on pain perception as a potential marker of hypertension risk looks at:

  • Mechanisms of decreased pain perception in individuals with hypertension and/ or a family history of the disorder
  • Hypoalgesia predicting longitudinal blood pressure changes in individuals at high and low risk for hypertension
  • The relationship between pain and emotion in the context of hypertension risk


Pain-related Fear

Pain-related fear refers to constructs such as pain catastrophizing and kinesiophobia (fear that physical activity will exacerbate pain or prompt reinjury) and is linked with hypervigilance to pain, avoidance, and disability. Pain-related fear has been linked to the development and maintenance of chronic pain conditions. We work with healthy participants and individuals with chronic pain to examine:

  • The effect of pain-related fear on pain perception, behavior, and psychosocial adjustment.
  • The relationship between pain-related fear and patterns of movement.


Nociceptive Flexion Reflex Assessment

The nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) allows withdrawal from noxious stimuli. NFR assessment is often used in experimental and clinical pain research as an index of descending modulation by the central nervous system (i.e., the brain). Evidence for this comes from findings that NFR threshold and amplitude are not always linearly associated with subjective pain intensity.




Given the growing demand for blood products, attracting and retaining blood donors has become a national priority. The ultimate aim of our work in this area is to enhance the donation experience in order to sustain an adequate blood supply for individuals in need of blood products. Accordingly, we focus on:

Recruitment of Blood Donors

Development of materials to educate prospective donors about the donation process and to maximize the potential of a positive donation experience

Retention of Blood Donors

  • Coping strategies to attenuate donation reactions (e.g., nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness)
  • Psychosocial and physiological predictors of donor return behavior (e.g., physical reactions, self-efficacy, satisfaction)
  • Post-donation interventions to enhance donor return (e.g., motivational interviewing)


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 Christopher R. France, Ph.D.Laboratory 593-1079
 Janis France, Ph.D.Project 593-4557
 Gary EllisGraduate 593-1061
 Jamie HuckinsGraduate 274-2147
 Jennifer KowalskyGraduate 593-1061
 Kristin LewisGraduate 593-1061
 Sarah McGloneGraduate 593-1061
 Kadian SinclairGraduate 593-1061
 Regina WarfelGraduate 593-1061