Project

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The Fear Inside Us

English title The Fear Inside Us
Applicant Bondolfi Guido
Number 145631
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Département de Psychiatrie Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Health Education
Start/End 01.07.2013 - 30.06.2014
Approved amount 200'000.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Health Education
Mental Disorders, Psychosomatic Diseases
Neurology, Psychiatry
Neurophysiology and Brain Research

Keywords (6)

Neuroscience; Mental disorders prevention; Emotion; Mental health education; Fear, Stress and Anxiety disorders; Interactive exhibition

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Pas de panique! La peur, notre meilleure amie ou notre pire ennemieCette exposition ludique et interactive s'adresse à tous les public et a pour but d'aider à mieux comprendre les mécanismes neuronaux et comportementaux de la peur et des troubles anxieux.
Lay summary

La peur est une émotion que tout le monde a ressenti sans pour autant en connaître les ressorts intimes. D’expérience peu agréable, elle est souvent nécessaire et utile. Elle est un garde-fou contre les dangers qui nous menacent. Cette exposition grand public propose un voyage inattendu et surprenant au pays de la peur. Comprendre la peur, comprendre ses peurs, à travers un parcours ludique et interactif, avant d’aborder la question plus sensible des désordres anxieux devrait contribuer à susciter plus de tolérance à l’égard des patients atteints de cette maladie. Car la frontière est souvent floue et ténue entre la norme et la pathologie.

Le visiteur découvrira tour à tour les régions cérébrales qui participent à l'émergence de cette émotion, notamment l’amygdale, une structure qui joue une rôle central dans la régulation de la peur; les réactions physiologiques qui nous parcourent quand nous sommes effrayés; la peur dans le monde animal qui inspire les comportements les plus divers ; le stress qui, à petite dose, nous rend service, et nous dessert lorsqu’il devient chronique; les troubles anxieux les plus répandus et handicapants comme les phobies spécifiques, l’anxiété sociale, le trouble panique ou encore l’anxiété généralisée; finalement un lieu de relaxation où musique et lumière suggéreront le calme et la détente, illustrant les bénéfices de certaines formes de méditation sur la gestion du stress.

L'exposition "Pas de panique!" conçue par l'Université de Genève en collaboration avec l'Université de Zurich a été présentée à Genève dans le bâtiment d'Uni Dufour de mars à juillet 2014 et au musée de zoologie de Zurich d'août à décembre 2014.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.05.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Zurich and ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Don't panic German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
108432 Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for the prevention of relapse in depression: a stuy of its efficacy, its effects on cognitive functioning and on HPA axis 01.08.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)
128379 Molecular control of limbic cortical circuit formation: a translational approach to stress-related disorders 01.10.2010 SNSF Professorships
140060 Neural and somatovisceral processes associated with expectancy bias in spider phobia 01.01.2012 Ambizione

Abstract

Mental illness is a growing problem in our societies. According to several studies, one in five people of working age is currently suffering from a mental disorder. Thus, the risk of experiencing mental illness is high for everyone. OECD1 considers this health problem as a new priority challenge for the labor market. However, mental illnesses are often perceived as a sign of weakness, failure and incompetence. They raise more misunderstanding than they do compassion. This misjudgment increases relationship problems and feelings of social isolation. Mental disorders are therefore very sensitive issues that require a better understanding at the level of the society.Our exhibition project aims to inform the public about one of the most frequent mental illnesses, anxiety disorder, in order to help change its perception and make people aware of possible treatments. The exhibition will create a growing - yet mild- nervous tension in visitors as they proceed, starting with brain and body fear responses explained in a humorous manner right up to the experience felt by a person suffering from anxiety disorder. The description of the biological mechanisms of fear and its related disorders will show how small the gap is between the normal and pathological functioning states. The exhibition will also describe the various animal reactions of fear and show how society and the media can play a role in fostering such an emotion. As this problem can affect children and teenagers, the exhibition is targeted to visitors of all ages as well as school classes. We believe that the fun and interactive conception of this exhibition, by using new information technology devices, will help attract visitors and educate many people on the causes of anxiety disorders, as well as change prejudices and provide informed access to medical care.The exhibition will be conceived with the expertise of scientists from the University of Geneva and other Swiss universities, and with the help of collaborators working in public outreach. It will be launched in Geneva at the end of 2013 and will last about five months. The exhibition is planned to travel through other cities in Switzerland during the European Year Of The Brain (2014) with the collaboration of the Swiss Society for Neuroscience and scientists from the University of Zürich and ETHZ.
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