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



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.

Original research articles in refereed scientific journals

Jensen K, Srinivasan P, Spaeth R, Tan Y, Kosek E, Petzke P, Carville S, Fransson P, Marcus H, Williams SCR, Choy E, Vitton O, Gracely RH, Ingvar M, Kong J. Overlapping structural and functional brain changes in patients with long-term exposure to fibromyalgia. Arthritis & Rheumatism, In Press 2013.

Jensen KPetrovic 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, In Press 2013.

Jensen K, Kaptchuk TJ, Kirsch I, Raicek J, Lindstrom KM, Berna C, Gollub RL, Ingvar M, Kong J. Non-conscious Activation of Placebo and Nocebo Pain Responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci (PNAS) 2012, 109(39), 15959-64.

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.

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. Neurosci Lett. 2012; 520(2): 156-164.

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(1):32.

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

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. Pain 2009;144(1-2):95-100.

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 val158met Polymorphism. PLoS One 2009;4(6):e6016.

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 illusion. PLoS One, 2012, 7 (12): e52400. *shared first author

Loggia ML*, Jensen K*, Gollub RL, Wasan AD, Edwards RR, Kong J. The Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) valmet Polymorphism Affects Brain Responses to Repeated Painful Stimuli. PLoS One 2011; 6(11):e27764. *shared first author

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 fibromyalgia. Scand J Pain, In press 2013. *shared first author

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, In Press 2013.

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; 16(6):80.

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(1):37.

Linnman C*, Beucke JC*, Jensen K, Gollub RL, Kong J. Sex similarities and differences in pain-related periaqueductal gray connectivity. Pain 2012; 153(2):444-54.

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.

Hall K, Lembo A, Kirsch I, Ziogas D, Douaiher J, Jensen K, Conboy L, Kelley J, Kaptchuk TJ, Kokkotou E. COMT val 158 met polymorphism predicts placebo effect in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. PLoS One, 2012, 7(10): e48135.

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.

Review articles, book chapters, editorials etc.

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

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

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

Ingvar M, Jensen K, Petrovic P. Placing placebo in normal brain function with neuroimaging. Book Chapter. In press 2013. Number of pages: 19.

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

Occasional reviewer for the following journals

       Arch Gen Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry)

      Journal of Neuroscience



       Cerebral Cortex



       Pain Medicine

       The Journal of Pain

       Psychiatry Genetics

       BMC Psychiatry

       Arthritis Care & Research