Cross-modal and modality-specific networks for understanding others and their somatic states.

Auteur Lia ANTICO
Directeur /trice Corrado Corradi Dell'Acqua
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

The present doctoral project aims at testing embodied model for emotional coding adopting a novel, causal, approach which combines behavioural psychophysics with social/affective neuroscience. The project will involve carefully-developed experiments in which the evaluation of painful facial expressions will be associated with manipulations aimed at amplifying or inhibiting the activity of the neural mechanisms mediating one’s pain. These could be the administration of concurrent noxious stimuli on the observer, aimed at enhancing the activity of somatosensory, insular and cingulate regions, or pharmacological manipulations (e.g., placebo analgesia paradigm, with/without concurrent administration of naltrexone) aimed at affecting those systems involved in opioidergically-mediated pain regulation. Neurotypical individuals will be engaged in these manipulations whilst evaluating facial expressions of pain, facial expressions of disgust (as unpleasant painless control) or neutral facial expressions. These experimental settings will allow to ascertain whether modulations of the mechanisms mediating one’s pain have an influence in the evaluation of others’ states. Furthermore, they will also allow to assess whether these influences are observable at the level of pain-specific systems (which are expected to play a role in the evaluation of painful, but not disgusting and neutral, facial expressions), or at the level of supramodal, modality-independent, systems (which might play a role also in the evaluation of negative, but painless, expressions).

Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse Mai 2019