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Decoding affective valence and arousal from prefrontal cortex hemodynamical signals

Grant number: 17/05225-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 14, 2018
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Claudinei Eduardo Biazoli Junior
Grantee:Juliana França Tossato
Home Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


Untagling the neurobiological bases of affective experiences is a relevant problem with potential implications for the establishment of more accurate diagnostic methods for several symptoms and mental disorders. Neuroimaging studies, specially using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), suggest an architecture of a large-scale functional neural network related to an assignment of affective valence to stimuli or imagined mental states. Beyond affective valence, the intensity or arousal related to affective states is considered a fundamental dimension of these states. Hypothetically, the existence of two universal dimensions of affective states implies in the existence of two functional and anatomically distinct neural networks. These networks probably involve anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex. However, the existence of two different neural networks for the valence and arousal is controversial. Hence, this study has as main objective to investigate the possibility of identification of different functional patterns for valence and intensity using hemodynamic measures of the prefrontal cortex and psychophysiological measures. The hemodynamic measures will be performed using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), whose signal is comparable to the BOLD, the more conventional hemodynamic measure applied in fMRI. Twenty subjects will perform sessions of passive emotional evocation, induced by images taken from a standardized international bank of affective images. In addition, in the same session the active emotional evocation will be evaluated, in which the subjects will be guided to imagine situations that are affectively relevant. Psychophysiological measures, including galvanic skin response, cardiac and respiratory frequencies, will be used as objective indicators of the intensity of affective response. Subjective score will also be measured in a standardization way. The application of a classification algorithm will allow the investigation of a possible discrimination between areas related to valence and effective intensity. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TRAMBAIOLLI, LUCAS R.; TOSSATO, JULIANA; CRAVO, ANDRE M.; BIAZOLI, JR., CLAUDINEI E.; SATO, JOAO R. Subject-independent decoding of affective states using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. PLoS One, v. 16, n. 1 JAN 7 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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