Description: How humans react to emotional stimuli is a highly debated topic. The prevailing theory is the motivational model, in which emotional stimuli produce fixed and automatic responses in the observer. Conversely, a substantial series of data from Prof. Mirabella's laboratory has demonstrated that, in healthy subjects, emotional stimuli influence motor behavior only when these are relevant to the context in which the subject operates. The main limitation of these studies is that static stimuli, which are not very ecological, were used. Therefore, these experiments will be repeated in an immersive virtual environment where the emotional stimuli will be interpreted by avatars, significantly increasing the realism and ecology of the experimental setting. If, as expected, the task-relevance principle is confirmed, these results will produce an essential change in the theoretical perspective of how we react to emotional stimuli.

Employer: University of Brescia

Location: Brescia, Italy

Duration: 12 months (with option to renew)

Application deadline: 20240109