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Charting emotion components and dynamics in the human brain using virtual reality and cinema

Applicant Vuilleumier Patrik
Number 180319
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Dépt des Neurosciences Fondamentales Faculté de Médecine Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Interdisciplinary
Start/End 01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022
Approved amount 2'150'667.00
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All Disciplines (6)

Discipline
Interdisciplinary
Information Technology
Psychology
Theatre and Cinema
Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences

Keywords (9)

neuroscience; brain; virtual reality; neuroimaging; emotion; cinema studies; film aesthetics; cognition; network

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Elucider l'organisation fonctionnelle et dynamique des réseaux cérébraux lors d'émotions en situation écologique grâce à la réalité virtuelle et au cinéma
Lay summary

Les émotions reflètent des processus mentaux et physiologiques  complexes, favorisant des comportements adaptés face à des événements variés. Les mécanismes psychologiques et les circuits cérébraux qui les sous-tendent restent toutefois mal compris et controversés. Alors que certaines théories classiques ont proposé que des régions spécifiques du cerveau contrôlent des émotions spécifiques (par exemple l’amygdale pour la peur ou le striatum pour le plaisir), la recherche récente en neuroscience suggère que chaque émotion implique l’activation de nombreuses régions simultanément. Ces régions interagissent dynamiquement entre elles au sein de vastes réseaux qui sont non seulement partagés entre différentes émotions mais aussi impliqués dans des fonctions cognitives non émotionnelles (comme l’attention, la mémoire, ou la préparation d'action). L’objectif de notre projet est d’identifier les réseaux qui sont responsables des différentes composantes psychologiques et physiologiques qui sont considérés comme essentiels dans la genèse des émotions, comme la détection de la nouveauté, la valeur subjective (plaisante ou aversive), ou la capacité de contrôle, ainsi que dans leur déroulement dynamique, notamment leurs impacts motivationnels, expressifs, ou physiologiques. Dans ce but, nous emploierons des méthodes de neuroimagerie fonctionnelle par résonance magnétique (IRMf) et des analyses innovantes visant à déterminer l’architecture de réseaux cérébraux contrôlant ces processus, leur organisation dynamique, et leurs interactions réciproques lors de différentes émotions. Nous emploierons également des situations émotionnelles écologiques au moyen de tests en réalité virtuelle et de films caractérisées par des scénarios adéquat pour évoquer différentes émotions. Cela sera rendu possible par une collaboration interdisciplinaire de plusieurs équipes de chercheurs spécialisés en neurosciences cognitives et neuroimagerie (Patrik Vuilleumier, UNIGE), en analyse de signal (Dimitri Van de Ville, HUG & EPFL),  en ingénierie de réalité virtuelle (Ronan Boulic, EPFL), et en analyse critique cinématographique (UNIGE).

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.06.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Towards Designing Games for Experimental Protocols Investigating Human-Based Phenomena
Lopes Phil, Boulic Ronan (2020), Towards Designing Games for Experimental Protocols Investigating Human-Based Phenomena, in FDG '20: International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, Bugibba MaltaACM, USA.
Tapping into Multi-Faceted Human Behavior and Psychopathology Using fMRI Brain Dynamics
Bolton Thomas A.W., Morgenroth Elenor, Preti Maria Giulia, Van De Ville Dimitri (2020), Tapping into Multi-Faceted Human Behavior and Psychopathology Using fMRI Brain Dynamics, in Trends in Neurosciences, 43(9), 667-680.
One the effect of the Vertical Axis Alignment on Cybersickness and Game Experience in Supine Posture
TianNana, ClémentRomain, LopesPhil, BoulicRonan (2020), One the effect of the Vertical Axis Alignment on Cybersickness and Game Experience in Supine Posture, in IEEE Conference on Games (CoG) , Osaka, JapanIEEE, USA.
Exploring Blink-Rate Behaviors for Cybersickness Detection in VR
Lopes Phil, Tian Nana, Boulic Ronan (2020), Exploring Blink-Rate Behaviors for Cybersickness Detection in VR, IEEE, USA.
A Multi-Componential Approach to Emotion Recognition and the Effect of Personality
Mohammadi Gelareh, Vuilleumier Patrik (2020), A Multi-Componential Approach to Emotion Recognition and the Effect of Personality, in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 1-1.
MOHAMMADI, Gelareh; VAN DE VILLE, Dimitri; VUILLEUMIER, Patrik. Brain networks subserving functional core processes of emotions identified with componential modelling.
MohammadiGelareh, Van de VilleDimitri, VuilleumierPatrik (2020), MOHAMMADI, Gelareh; VAN DE VILLE, Dimitri; VUILLEUMIER, Patrik. Brain networks subserving functional core processes of emotions identified with componential modelling., in BioRxiv, 1-38.
Towards Understanding Emotional Experience in a Componential Framework
Mohammadi Gelareh, Lin Kangying, Vuilleumier Patrik (2019), Towards Understanding Emotional Experience in a Componential Framework, in 2019 8th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 123-129.
On the Influence of the Supine Posture on Simulation Sickness in Virtual Reality
Marengo Julien, Lopes Phil, Boulic Ronan (2019), On the Influence of the Supine Posture on Simulation Sickness in Virtual Reality, in 2019 IEEE Conference on Games (CoG), London, United KingdomIEEE, USA.
Computational imaging during video-game playing shows dynamic synchronization of cortical and subcortical networks of emotions
LeitaoJoana, MeulemanBen, Van de VilleDimitri, VuilleumierPatrik, Computational imaging during video-game playing shows dynamic synchronization of cortical and subcortical networks of emotions, in PLOS Biology.

Datasets

Computational imaging during video-game playing shows dynamic synchronization of cortical and subcortical networks of emotions

Author Leitao, Joana; Meuleman, Ben; Van de Ville, Dimitri; Vuilleumier, Patrik
Persistent Identifier (PID) 8740
Repository neurovault


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
192792 Understanding the Neural Substrates of Neurofeeback Modulations of Visual Attention: Multimodal Brain Imaging and Application to Hemispatial Neglect Syndrome 01.06.2020 Project funding (Div. I-III)
104897 NCCR Affective Sciences: Emotion in Individual Behavior and Social Processes (phase I) 01.09.2005 National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs)

Abstract

Emotions are complex and multifaceted phenomena affecting both the mind and body, promoting adaptive behavior in response to challenging events. Theoretical accounts of emotion disagree on their functional organization. Influential models in psychology have emphasized a role for multiple component processes that are recruited and integrated in a dynamic manner to generate emotion episodes, including appraisal mechanisms that process contextual information about an event (such as novelty, pleasantness, goal conduciveness, control, or agency), as well as motivational, expressive, and physiological mechanisms that orchestrate behavioral manifestations. However, the neural architecture of these components remains unresolved. Neuroscience approaches have been dominated by other theoretical models postulating the existence of discrete categories of basic emotions (e.g. fear, anger, joy) or dichotomous dimensions (e.g. valence, arousal) that rely on distinct circuits and provide building blocks for more complex emotional experiences (e.g. shame, pride, etc.). Yet, abundant results from neuroimaging studies in humans in the last two decades suggest a large overlap of activation patterns across different emotion categories and despite differences in valence and/or arousal. For instance, amygdala and insula activity may similarly occur during fear, disgust, laugh, or love. Moreover, these activations typically implicate distributed brain areas (e.g. encompassing sensorimotor and associative cortices) besides limbic regions (traditionally associated with affect and motivation), reflecting an engagement of other domain-specific networks (such as attention, memory, or action preparation). While these findings would be consistent with a multi-componential nature of emotions, no study has systematically investigated emotional brain systems in relation to theoretically defined components. Further, most neuroimaging studies employed impoverished experimental conditions where emotions are induced in a static and indirect, third-person perspective (e.g. pictures, faces). In our project, we aim to (i) chart brain systems mediating different components and appraisals using fMRI and psychophysiology measures during emotional episodes; (ii) use naturalistic and dynamic elicitation procedures, first by exploiting movies where emotions can be decomposed in terms of specific components, and second by designing first-person games and virtual reality environments where specific components can be manipulated experimentally; (iii) deploy new signal analysis and modelling methods to uncover the neural representation of emotion components and relate them to dynamic, time-evolving modulation of brain-wide networks. This will be made possible by the highly interdisciplinary collaboration of 3 teams from cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging (Vuilleumier), signal processing (Van de Ville), and virtual reality engineering (Boulic), with additional contribution from cinema critics (Lombardo) for movie studies. This research will address several key questions in affective and brain science in novel ways, going beyond previous work in each of our disciplines and opening new perspectives for long-term collaboration between our teams.
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