New paradigms for emotional elicitation. EEG, hemodynamic (fNIRS) and autonomic evidences

Giulia Fronda*, Davide Crivelli, Daniela De Filippis, Michela Balconi

*Corresponding author

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Background: Psychology interest has always focused on emotions analysis, because individuals’ life experiences are characterized by the presence of different emotional states. In particular, emotions can be considered as internal individuals components that entail modifications in cortical and autonomic activity, determined by central and peripheral nervous system elicitation [1]. Materials and methods: The present study aimed to investigate a new protocol for emotional states elicitation consisting in the administration of three tasks. Tasks were created to evaluate two dimensions of emotions: valence and arousal, according with dimensional model of emotions. Specifically, two tasks required participants to observe emotional stimuli selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and pictures representing human interactions [2]. A third task related to subjects’ autobiographical memories was created to elicit emotional responses. During the tasks performance, electroencephalographic, hemodynamic (fNIRS) and autonomic correlates of emotional responses were recorded on a sample of healthy subjects. Clusters of emotional responses biomarkers have been found by the employment of specific algorithms. Results: First data highlighted consistent cortical and autonomic responses, in agreement with the valence of emotional stimuli presented in the three tasks. Furthermore, differently-valenced emotional stimuli induced distinct modulations of electrophysiological and hemodynamic activity, with a different hemispheric lateralization in response to positive and negative stimuli. Conclusions: This study highilights the potential use of novel paradigms for emotional responses elicitation. Moreover, electroencephalographic, hemodynamic and autonomic measures allow to find clusters of biomarkers for the elicited emotions. References: 1. H D Critchley, R Elliot, C 1. J Mathias, R J Dolan: Neural activity relating to the generation and representation of galvanic skin conductance response: a functional magnetic imaging study. J Neurosci 2000a, 20: 3033-3040. 2. M. Balconi, M E Vanutelli: Empathy in Negative and Positive Interpersonal Interactions. What is the Relationship Between Central (EEG, fNIRS) and Peripheral (Autonomic) Neurophysiological Responses? Adv Cogn Psychol 2017, 13: 105-120.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the "2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice"
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice - Kavala
Duration: 28 Jun 20181 Jul 2018


Conference2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice


  • EEG
  • Emotional responses
  • biomarkers
  • electrophysiological correlates
  • fNIRS


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