Karin Jensen

Professional Information


Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Assistant in Research, Massachusetts General Hospital


PhD Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, 2009

Affiliated Staff


Mailing Address

MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging
Bldg. 149, 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129 USA

General Contact Information



Neural Correlates of Pain and Placebo

My expertise revolves around brain mechanisms involved in pain control. Currently,
my research is focused on
psychological influences on pain regulation,
in particular placebo analgesia.

I perform studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and
psychophysical testing. Methods of analysis include event-related designs and
various types of functional connectivity.

Five selected publications:

Jensen K, Petrovic P, Kerr CE, Kirsch I, Raicek J, Cheetham A, Spaeth R,
Cook A, Gollub RL, Kong J, Kaptchuk TJ. Sharing pain and relief: Neural
correlates of physicians during treatment of patients. Molecular Psychiatry,
2014, 19(3), 392-398. PMID:

Jensen K, Kaptchuk TJ, Kirsch I, Raicek J, Lindstrom KM, Berna C, Gollub
RL, Ingvar M, Kong J. Nonconscious activation of placebo and nocebo pain
responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci (PNAS) 2012; 25(39): 15959-15964.
PMID: 23019380

Jensen K, Srinivasan P, Spaeth R, Tan Y, Kosek E, Petzke F, Carville S,
Fransson P, Marcus H, Williams SC, Choy E, Vitton O, Gracely R, Ingvar M, Kong
J. Overlapping structural and functional brain changes in patients with
long-term exposure to fibromyalgia.
Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2013,
65(12), 3293-3303. PMID: 23982850

Jensen K, Kosek E, Wicksell R, Kemani M, Olsson G, Merle JV, Kadetoff D,
Ingvar M. Cognitive behavioral therapy increases pain-evoked activation of the
prefrontal cortex in patients with fibromyalgia.
Pain 2012; 153(7):
1495-1503. PMID: 22617632

Jensen K, Kosek E, Petzke F, Carville S, Fransson P, Marcus H, Williams
SCR, Choy E, Giesecke T, Mainguy Y, Gracely R, Ingvar M. Evidence of dysfunctional
pain inhibition in fibromyalgia reflected in rACC during provoked pain.
2009; 144 (1-2): 95-100. PMID: 19410366

List of all original works (chronological order):

Jensen K, Lonsdorf T, Schalling M, Kosek E, Ingvar M. Increased
sensitivity to thermal pain following a single opiate dose is influenced by the
COMT val
158met polymorphism. PLoS One 2009; 4 (6): e6016.
PMID: 19547755

Kosek E, Jensen K, Lonsdorf T, Schalling M, Ingvar M. Genetic variation
in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR, rs25531) influences the analgesic
response to the short acting opioid remifentanil in humans.
Mol Pain
2009; 5 (37): 1-7. PMID: 19570226

Jensen K, Ingvar M, Petzke F, Carville S, Fransson P, Choy E, Williams
SCR, Marcus H, Mainguy Y, Gracely RH, Kosek E. Anxiety and depressive symptoms
in fibromyalgia are related to low health esteem but not to sensitivity or
cerebral processing of pain.
Arthritis & Rheumatism 2010; 62(11):
3488-3495. PMID: 20617526

Zyloney C, Jensen K, Gollub RL, LaViolette P, Kaptchuk T, Kong J.
Imaging the functional connectivity of the periaqueductal gray during verum and
sham electroacupuncture treatment.
Mol Pain 2010, 16 (80): 1-11. PMID:

Loggia ML , Jensen K , Gollub RL, Wasan AD, Edwards RR, Kong J.
The Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) val
158met polymorphism
affects brain responses to repeated painful stimuli.
PLoS One 2011;
6(11): 1-8. PMID: 22132136

Linnman C , Beucke JC , Jensen K, Gollub RL, Kong J. Sex similarities
and differences in pain-related periaqueductal gray connectivity.
2012; 153(2): 444-454. PMID: 22154332

Jensen K, Berna C, Loggia ML, Wasan AD, Edwards RR, Gollub RL. The use
of functional neuroimaging to evaluate psychological and other
non-pharmacological treatments for pain.
Neuroscience Letters 2012;
520(2): 156-164. PMID: 22445888

Jensen K, Loitoile R, Kosek E, Petzke F, Carville S, Fransson P, Marcus
H, Williams S, Choy E, Mainguy Y, Vitton O, Gracely RH, Gollub RL, Ingvar M,
Kong J. Patients with fibromyalgia display less functional connectivity in the
brains pain inhibitory network,
Mol Pain 2012; 8(32): 1-9. PMID:

Hall K, Lembo A, Kirsch I, Ziogas D, Douaiher J, Jensen K, Conboy L,
Kelley J, Kaptchuk T, Kokkotou E. COMT val
158met polymorphism
predicts placebo effect in irritable bowel syndrome.
PLoS One 2012,
7(10): e48135. PMID: 23110189

Mohan R, Jensen K, Petkova V, Dey A, Barnsley N, Ingvar M, McAuley J,
Moseley L, Ehrsson H. Pain intensity is maintained during the rubber hand
PLoS One 2012, 7(12): e52400. PMID: 23285026

Wicksell R, Kemani M, Jensen K, Kosek E, Kadetoff D, Sorjonen K, Ingvar
M, Olsson
G. Acceptance and commitment therapy for fibromyalgia: a
randomized controlled trial.
Eur J Pain, 2013, 17(4), 599-611. PMID:

Petzke F , Jensen K , Kosek E, Choy E, Carville S, Fransson P,
Williams S, Marcus H, Mainguy Y, Ingvar M, Gracely RH. Using fMRI to evaluate
the effects of milnacipran on central pain processing in patients with
Scand J Pain, 2013, 4(2), 65-74

Kong J, Jensen K, Loiotile R, Cheetham A, Wey H-Y, Tan Y, Rosen B,
Smoller J, Kaptchuk TJ, Gollub R. Functional connectivity of the frontoparietal
network predicts cognitive modulation of pain.
Pain, 2013, 154(3),
459-467. PMID: 23352757

Kong J, Spaeth RB, Wey HY, Cheetham A, Cook AH, Jensen K, Tan Y, Liu H,
Wang D, Loggia ML, Napadow V, Smoller JW, Wasan AD, Gollub RL. S1 is associated
with chronic low back pain: a functional and structural MRI study.
Mol Pain,
2013 Aug 21;9(1):43. PMID: 23965184

Jensen K, Petzke F, Carville S, Choy E, Fransson P, Gracely R.H, Vitton
O, Marcus H, Williams, S, Ingvar M, Kosek E. All responders are not the same:
segregating the cerebral mechanisms of antidepressants and placebo in
Journal of Pain, In Press 2014

Hsieh C, Kong J, Kirsch I, Edwards RR, Jensen K, Kaptchuk TJ, Gollub RL.
Well-Loved Music Robustly Relieves Pain.
PLoS One, In Press 2014

Other publications

. Loggia ML, Jensen K. Pain imaging in the
human brain. Ed: Seeman P, Madras B. Imaging of the Human Brain in Health and
Disease: Elsevier 2011. Number of pages: 32.

Jensen K. Kognitiv beteendeterapi. Ed: Kosek E, Nisell
R, Lampa J. Smrta och inflammation vid reumatiska sjukdomar:
Studentlitteratur: Stockholm. In press 2013. Number of pages: 10.

. Ingvar M, Petrovic P, Jensen K. Placing placebo
in normal brain function with neuroimaging. In: Colloca L, Flaten M, Meissner
K. Placebo and Pain: from Bench to Bedside. Elsevier 2013. pp 83-88.

scientific article. 
Jensen K, Ingvar M. Omedveten aktivering av
placebosvar vid smrta. 
Lkartidningen 2012 (41) 109: 1818.

Thesis. Jensen
. Brain mechanisms in pain regulation. Ph.D. thesis. Karolinska
University Press. Stockholm: 2009. ISBN 978-91-7409-646-0.

Editorial. Jensen
. More than half of patients in a large fibromyalgia study have a
depressive trait style and report more severe symptom profiles. 
Scand J
In Press 2014.

reviewer for the following journals

Arch Gen
Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry)

Journal of







The Journal
of Pain



Arthritis Care & Research