Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Post-doctoral Research Fellowship: MSCA-IF 2017 at the Department of Psychology

    01/09/2018 12:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Granada
    International Project Office
    Promotion & Advisory Unit

Professor Jaime Vila, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) in this university. Applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information in the participant guide: http://sl.ugr.es/097k).

Our research group (Human Psychophysiology and Health) is focused on the psychophysiological mechanisms of positive and negative emotions using as principal research paradigm the affective modulation of two defensive reflexes: cardiac defense and motor startle.  Both reflexes are used to examine the physiological and psychological mechanisms underlying the reactivity to danger/safety cues and their associated emotions. Negative emotions investigated include fear and anxiety both in normal and pathological manifestations (anxiety disorders and stress). The main positive emotion investigated in our group is love studied through the examination of the psychophysiological mechanisms underlying the processing of loved familiar faces. A key characteristic of our research group is the integration of both peripheral and central physiological measures emphasizing the adaptive function of emotions for survival and the important role that the brain and the heart play in such adaptation.

Title: Sympathetic and parasympathetic influences on the modulation of the cardiac defense response (CDR).

The cardiac defense response is a specific reflex response of the heart to the presentation of an unexpected intense noise. The response is characterized by a pattern of heart rate changes with four consecutive components –acceleration1, deceleration1, acceleration2, and deceleration2- observed along the 80 seconds following the acoustic stimulus. This response pattern is modulated by both attentional and emotional factors. Attentional tasks (v. g., visual search tasks) performed during the 80 seconds of the evocation of the cardiac response increases the amplitude of the second acceleration. Unpleasant and phobic pictures presented a few seconds before the eliciting stimulus increases the first and second acceleration eliminating the first deceleration. The physiological mechanisms underlying these changes are still unknown. Previous research has demonstrated the parasympathetic influence during the first acceleration and first deceleration, and the sympathetic influence during the second acceleration and second deceleration, but under conditions of no attentional or emotional modulation. The present project aims at examining in three studies the sympathetic/parasympathetic mechanisms underlying (a) the attentional modulation of the CDR, (b) the emotional modulation of the CDR, and (c) the simultaneous attentional and emotional modulation of the CDR. The physiological indices will be: Heart Rate (HR) estimated from the electrocardiogram (EKG), pre-ejection period estimated from the impedance cardiography, baroreflex sensitivity estimated from systolic blood pressure, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia amplitude estimated from respiration and HR.

Research Area:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities (SOC)
  • Life Sciences (LIF)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor (jvila@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)