18 April 2023

India Morrison, senior associate professor in cognitive neuroscience, has won the Onkel Adam Award for 2023 for her outstanding research at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Linköping University (LiU). One of her research areas is how touch and pain affect our behaviour.

Headshot of a woman close to a window.India Morrison. Photo credit Emma Busk Winquist

In their motivation, the jury highlights India Morrison’s “innovative and outstanding research into how touch and pain control, or are controlled by, emotional and social factors”. She was among the first in the world to show that when we witness somebody else being subjected to pain and we experience “empathetic” pain, the same area in the brain is activated as when we experience similar pain ourselves.

“One of the things I find interesting is that the areas in the brain that react when we witness somebody else’s pain are also involved in preparing us to act and move. I’ve long been fascinated by the connection between emotions and movement. To me, research into pain and touch is a window to the secret processes in the brain,” says India Morrison, senior associate professor in the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at LiU.

In her research lab, the Embodied Brain Lab, she combines hormone measuring with cognitive tests and MRI scans of the brain.Lena Jonasson.Lena Jonasson. Photo credit Anna Nilsen

“It’s really wonderful that India Morrison is recognised for her outstanding research in this exciting multi-disciplinary field integrating psychology and biology,” says Lena Jonasson, dean at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at LiU, who led the nomination work of the award committee.

India Morrison will receive a sum of SEK 250,000 and will accept the award at the Linköping University Academic Celebrations on 27 May.

The Onkel Adam Award was founded in 2020 through a generous donation to the Jubilee Foundation at Linköping University from a descendent of Onkel Adam, Bengt Normann. The aim of the award is to promote medical research at LiU and to honour the memory of Onkel Adam, the pen-name of well-known 19th century physician, author, writer and politician Carl Anton Wetterbergh, who lived in Linköping.

Translation by Anneli Mosell

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