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 underlying 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 in such adaptation play both the brain and the heart.

Title: The buffering-inhibitory effect of loved familiar faces on cardiac defense and fear learning

The literature on social support has consistently shown the association of social support with positive health outcomes. Although the mechanisms underlying this association are still poorly understood, recent studies on affiliative stimuli and loved familiar faces support the idea that social support stimuli acts as safety cues activating the reward system and simultaneously buffering or inhibiting the activation of the defense system. This effect has been demonstrated in our group using the picture viewing paradigm where loved familiar faces, compared to unknown faces, elicited a pattern of peripheral and central physiological responses indicative of an intense positive emotion accompanied by inhibition of the startle reflex.  The present project aims at confirming and extending these results. The focus of the project will be to examine the buffering (or inhibitory) effect of viewing loved familiar faces on two new paradigms: (a) the evocation and habituation of the cardiac defense response and (b) the learning and extinction of fear responses. In both paradigms loved familiar faces versus unknown faces will be used as modulatory stimuli (cardiac defense) or conditioned stimuli (fear learning).

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)