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Vani Mathur

Vani Mathur
Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Affective Science
  • Social & Personality Psychology
  • Diversity Science
  • (979) 845-2383
  • PSYC 221
Professional Links
Accepting Students for 2024-2025?

Research Interests

Dr. Mathur’s work focuses on understanding the sources of disparities in pain, and the specific mechanisms by which social and cultural factors alter pain experience and pain physiology. Her research targets the problem of pain disparities from two directions – investigating the different ways social factors may influence one’s own pain, and also alter pain perception and empathy for others. To tackle these problems, her lab utilizes behavioral, psychophysical, and neuroimaging methodologies. In addition to her work on pain disparities, Dr. Mathur is also interested in individual differences in chronic pain and pain modulation, cross-cultural examinations of pain and empathy, and social environmental effects on health broadly defined.

Recent Publications

*Indicates a student co-author

=Mathur, V.A.=Payano Sosa, J.S., Keaser, M.L., Meiller, T.F., Seminowicz, D.A. (2023). The social context of Burning Mouth Syndrome: An exploratory pilot study of stigma, discrimination, and pain. Pain Medicine.  =equal author contributions

*Nanavaty, N., *Walsh, K.T., *Boring, B.L., Ganesan, A., Carter-Sowell, A.R., Mathur, V.A. (2023). Acute ostracism-related pain sensitization is enhanced in the context of accumulated lifetime experiences of ostracism. The Journal of Pain.

*Boring, B.L., *Richter, A., Mathur, V.A. (2023). Higher self-perceived stress reactivity is associated with increased chronic pain risk. PAIN Reports, 8(2), e1068.

Hood, A.M., Morias, C.A., Aroke, E.N., Booker, S.Q., Campbell, L.C., Campbell, C.M., Goodin, B.R., Janevic, M., Kapos, F.P., Mathur, V.A., Merriwether, E.N., Letzen, J.E. (2023). Antiracism CoaliTION in Pain Research (ACTION-PR): Guiding principles for equity in reporting. The Journal of Pain, 24(1), 19-21.

*Nanavaty, N., Thompson, C.G., Meagher, M.W., McCord, C., Mathur, V.A. (2023). Traumatic life experience and pain sensitization: Meta-analysis of laboratory findings. Clinical Journal of Pain, 39(1), 15-28.

*Walsh, K.T., *Nanavaty, N., *Boring, B.L., Carter-Sowell, A.R., Mathur, V.A. (2022). Lifetime experiences of ostracism and mechanisms of pain. Frontiers in Pain Research, 3, 1037472

*Walsh, K.T., *Boring, B.L., *Nanavaty, N., *Guzman, H., Mathur, V.A. (2022). Sociocultural context and pre-clinical pain facilitation: Multiple dimensions of racialized discrimination experience by Latinx Americans are associated with enhanced temporal summation of pain. The Journal of Pain. [OA epub ahead of print]

*Boring, B.L., Ng, B.W., *Nanavaty, N., Mathur, V.A. (2022). Over-rating pain is overrated: A fundamental self-other bias in pain reporting behavior. The Journal of Pain. [OA epub ahead of print]

Letzen, J.E., Mathur, V.A., Janevic, M., Burton, M.D., Hood, A.M., Morias, C.A., Booker, S.Q., Campbell, C.M., Aroke, E.N., Goodin, B.R., Campbell, L.C., Merriwether, E.N. (2022). Confronting racism in pain research: Reframing study designs. The Journal of Pain, 23(6), 893-912.

Morias, C.A., Aroke, E.N., Letzen, J.E., Campbell, C.M., Hood, A.M., Janevic, M., Mathur, V.A., Merriwether, E.N., Goodin, B.R., Booker, S.Q., Campbell, L.C. (2022). Confronting racism in pain research: A call to action. The Journal of Pain, 23(6), 878-892.

Hood, A.M., Booker, S.Q., Morias, C.A., Goodin, B.R., Letzen, J.E., Campbell, L.C., Merriwether, E.N., Aroke, E.N., Campbell, C.M., Mathur, V.A., Janevic, M. (2022). Confronting racism in all forms of pain research: A shared commitment for engagement, diversity, and dissemination. The Journal of Pain, 23(6), 913-928.

Mathur, V.A., Trost, Z., Ezenwa, M., Sturgeon, J.A., Hood, A. (2022). Mechanisms of injustice: What we (don’t) know about racialized disparities in pain. PAIN, 163(6), 999-1005.

Janevic, M., Mathur, V.A., Booker, S.Q., Morais, C., Meints, S., Yeager, K.A., Meghani, S.H. (2022) Making pain research more inclusive: Why and how. The Journal of Pain, 23(5), 707-728.

*Boring, B.L., *Maffly-Kipp, J., Mathur, V.A., Hicks, J.A. (2022). Meaning in life and pain: The differential effect of coherence, purpose, and mattering on pain severity and the development of chronic pain. Journal of Pain Research, 15, 299-314.

Mathur, V.A., *Nyman, T., *Nanavaty, N., *George, N., Brooker, R.J. (2021). Trajectories of pain during pregnancy predict symptoms of postpartum depression. PAIN Reports, 6(2), e933.

*Boring, B.L., *Walsh, K.T., *Nanavaty, N., Ng, B.W., Mathur, V.A. (2021). How and why do patient concerns influence pain reporting?: A qualitative analysis of personal accounts and perceptions of others’ use of numerical pain scales. Frontiers in Psychology – Health Psychology, 12, 2232.

*Kim, H., *Nanavaty, N., Ahmed, H., Mathur, V.A., Anderson, B.A. (2021). Motivational salience guides attention to valuable and threatening stimuli: Evidence from behavior and fMRI. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 33(12), 2440-2460.

*Boring, B.L., *Walsh, K.T., *Nanavaty, N., Mathur, V.A. (2021). Shame mediates the relationship between pain invalidation and depression. Frontiers in Psychology – Health Psychology, 12, 5673.

Mathur, V.A., Morris, T., *McNamara, K. (2020). Cultural conceptions of women’s labor pain and labor pain management: A mixed-methods analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 261, 113240.

*Rassu, F.S., **Luedke, J.C., *Nanavaty, N., Mathur, V.A., Meagher, M.W. (2020). Greater mechanical temporal summation of pain in Latinx-Americans and the role of adverse life experiences. PAIN Reports, 5(5), e842.


Recent Grants

  • Texas A&M Presidential Clinical Research Partnership (PCRP) Grant: Improving Maternal Health Equity and Decreasing Racial Disparities through Transdisciplinary Research and Collaborating in the Brazos Valley
  • National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Grant:  Nature-based Therapy: A Socioecological and RE-AIM Approach to Treating Disaster-related PTSD in Flood-vulnerable Communities
  • Texas A&M College of Arts and Sciences Inclusive Excellence Major Innovation Grant:  Building Epistemic Inclusiveness to Support the Next Generation of Diversity Science Scholars

Affiliated Research Cluster

Neuroscience, Diversity Science, & Affective Science. Disparities in pain in humans; social and cultural factors affecting pain experience and pain physiology; empathy for physical, social, and emotional pain and suffering.