Learning, Pain Modulation, & Recovery of function after spinal cord injuries
Dr. Grau’s research has focused on a number of topics, including learning, pain modulation, and the recovery of function after spinal cord injury. Recent studies on pain modulation, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Meagher (Psychology), have examined factors that enhance pain and the neural systems that underlie this effect. Studies on learning have explored the functional limits of neural plasticity within the spinal cord, demonstrating that this system can support some basic forms of learning (e.g., instrumental and Pavlovian conditioning). We have shown that stimuli that engage pain fibers independent of a discrete response can cause a loss in behavioral potential within the spinal cord and that this effect undermines the recovery of function after spinal cord injury.
- 2011-2015: Morphine undermines recovery of function after SCI: Neurobiological mechanisms, NIDA Grant, $1,172,000
- 2009-2011: Learning within the spinal cord: Clinical implications, NINDS ARRA Grant, $105,194
Hoy, K. C., Huie, J. R., & Grau, J. W. (2013). AMPA receptor mediated behavioral plasticity in the isolated rat spinal cord. Behavioural Brain Research, 236, 319-326.
Huie, J. R., Garraway, S. M., Hoy, K. C., & Grau, J. W. (2012). Learning in the spinal cord: BDNF mediates the beneficial effects of instrumental training. Neuroscience, 200, 74-90.
Woller, S. A., Moreno, G. L., Hart, N., Wellman, P. J., Grau, J. W., & Hook, M. A. (2012). Analgesia or addiction: Implications for morphine use after spinal cord injury. Neurotrauma, 28, 1650-1662.
Huie, J.R., Baumbauer, K.M., Lee, K.H., Beattie, M.S., Bresnahan, J.C., Ferguson, A.R., & Grau, J.W. (2012). Glial tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) Generates Metaplastic Inhibition of Spinal Learning. PLoS ONE, 7, e39751.
Grau, J. W., Huie, J. R., Garraway, S. M., Hook, M. A., Crown, E. D., Baumbauer, K. M., Lee, K. H., Hoy, K. C., & Ferguson, A. F. (2012). Impact of behavioral control on the processing of nociceptive stimulation. Frontiers in Integrative Physiology, 3, 1-21. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00262
Ferguson, A. R., Huie, J. R., Crown, E. D., & Grau, J. W. (2012). Central nociceptive sensitization vs. spinal cord training: Opposing forms of plasticity that dictate function after complete spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Integrative Physiology, 3, 396. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00396..
Baumbauer, K. M., Puga, D. A., Lee, K. H., Woller, S. A., Hughes, A. J., & Grau, J. W. (2012). Temporal regularity determines the impact of electrical stimulation on tactile reactivity and response to capsaicin in spinlly transected rats. Neuroscience, 227, 119-133.
Ferguson, A. R., Huie, J. R., Crown, E. D., Baumbauer, K. M., Hook, M. A., Garraway, S. M., Lee, K. H., Hoy, K. C., & Grau, J. W. (2012). Maladaptive spinal plasticity opposes adaptive spinal learning after spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Integrative Physiology, 3, 399. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00399