Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology
+49 201 723 4501

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Associated staff member, Clinic for Neurology

Tel. +49 201 723 4516




Sven Benson is Associate Professor at the Medical Faculty, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. After completing his studies in psychology at the University of Trier, he received his PhD from the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2008 and his habilitation in 2013.


My research interests primarily focus on systemic inflammation and pain. Using experimental endotoxemia, we investigate the interaction between pain and negative emotions in the context of systemic inflammation. In addition, we analyze the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms of placebo analgesia and nocebo hyperalgesia.

Research projects

Inflammatory mechanisms of pain sensitization
Funding DFG: BE 5173/2-1 und EL 236/11-1
Expectancy effects on pain perception and treatment response
Funding DFG: Project 5 (EL 236/8-2) of the Research Unit FOR 1328 and IFORES

Selected publications

Benson S, Engler H, Wegner A, Rebernik L, Spreitzer I, Schedlowski M, Elsenbruch S.
What makes you feel sick after inflammation? Predictors of acute and persisting physical sickness symptoms induced by experimental endotoxemia
Clin Pharmacol Ther, 2017;102:141-151.
Engler H, Brendt P, Wischermann J, Wegner A, Röhling R, Schoemberg T, Meyer U, Gold R, Peters P, Benson S, Schedlowski M.
Selective increase of cerebrospinal fluid IL-6 during experimental endotoxemia in humans: association with depressive symptoms.
MolPsychiatr, 2017;22:1448-1454.

Labrenz F, Wrede K, Forsting M, Engler H, Schedlowski M, Elsenbruch S, Benson S.
Alterations in functional connectivity of resting state networks during experimental endotoxemia - an exploratory study in healthy men.
Brain Behav Immun 2016;54:17-26.
Wegner A, Elsenbruch S, Rebernik L, Roderigo T, Engelbrecht E, Jäger J, Engler H, Schedlowski M, Benson S.
Inflammation-induced pain sensitization in men and women: Does sex matter in experimental endotoxemia?
PAIN 2015;156:1954-1964.
Benson S, Rebernik L, Wegner A, Kleine-Borgmann J, Engler H, Schlamann M, Forsting M, Schedlowski M, Elsenbruch S.
Neural circuitry mediating inflammation-induced central pain amplification in human experimental endotoxemia.
Brain Behav Immun 2015;48:222-231.
Schmid J, Langhorst J, Gaß F, Theysohn N, Benson S, Engler H, Gizewski ER, Forsting M, Elsenbruch S.
Placebo analgesia in patients with functional and organic abdominal pain: A fMRI study in irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and healthy volunteers.
GUT 2015;64:418-427.
Wegner A, Elsenbruch S, Maluck J, Grigoleit JS, Engler H, Jäger M, Spreitzer I, Schedlowski M, Benson S.
Inflammation induced hyperalgesia: Effects of timing, dosage, and negative affect on somatic pain sensitivity in human experimental endotoxemia.
Brain Behav Immun 2014;41:46-54.