Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Inside the emotional universe

02.12.2013
Psychologist and researcher David Sander specialises in emotions and their effect on cognitive function. For his research at a crossroads of several disciplines, he was awarded the National Latsis Prize 2013.

David Sander is an affective science researcher whose work brings together several different disciplines all related to emotions, including the humanities, psychology, neuroscience, information technology, law and economics.

As a professor of psychology, Sander is convinced that psychological research will benefit from a conceptual analysis of phi-losophy combined with a better understanding of how our brain works. He advocates a multifaceted approach, firm in the belief that computer-generated imaging, psychophysiology, functional MRI, olfactometry and even virtual reality are all capable of teaching us more about the human mind. In recognition of his research, he was recently awarded the National Latsis Prize 2013.

Psychology and mathematics
Sander’s thirst for experiments and desire to make the most of every technological opportunity have placed him at the head of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) “Affective Sciences”. He is also in charge of the Interfaculty Centre for Affective Sciences at the University of Geneva, whose laboratory has been equipped to conduct complex experiments on emotions and their effect on certain cognitive functions, such as decision-making, memory and attention span.

Sander’s interest in emotions began with his study of cognitive science. In 1996, two years after beginning studies in both psychology and ap-plied mathematics in Paris, he headed to Lyon and a recently-launched cognitive science study programme. He soon began applying these tools to emotions. By using a multitude of approaches, he wanted to identify the mechanisms governing emotions and derive the underly-ing principles.

A mini revolution
Sander is particularly interested in understanding how we assess and hence perceive the emotional value of an event. In 2003, he sparked a mini revolution by publishing an article questioning the generally ac-cepted role of the amygdala.

At the time it was commonly believed that this almond-shaped structure constituted the brain’s “fear centre”. With his article, Sander was presenting an alternative hypothesis: according to him the amygdala had a much broader function, that of assessing the relevance of an event, and of informing us of what is important in terms of our goals, our values and our immediate well-being. With this hypothesis, he was establishing a connection between our emotions and what he calls “the heart of the mind”.

A multifaceted approach
Since 2013, Sander has been a professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Geneva. He is a prolific scientific author and has even co-authored a book about emotions written specifically for children.

At present, he and his colleagues are focusing their research on five components common to all emotions: physiological response, tendency to action, evaluation, expression (face, voice and body) and subjective feeling. Their work explores the processes triggered by emotions in the brain, the type of emotions elicited by smells and how social factors affect emotions.

An in-depth article on David Sander can be found in the latest edition of the Swiss research magazine “Horizons”, which has just been published: www.snsf.ch > Current issues > Research magazine Horizonte

Contact details of the winner:
Prof. David Sander
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
University of Geneva
Bld. du Pont d’Arve 40
CH-1205 Geneva
+41 22 379 92 12
david.sander@unige.ch
Prizes of the Latsis Foundation
The Latsis Foundation was established in Geneva in 1975 by the Greek Latsis family. The Swiss National Science Foundation awards the National Latsis Prize on behalf of the Latsis Foundation. In addition, there are four university Latsis prizes worth 25,000 Swiss francs each, which are awarded by the University of Geneva, the University of St. Gallen, ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne respectively.

The National Latsis Prize, worth 100,000 Swiss francs, is one of Switzerland’s most prestigious scientific prizes. Awarded annually on behalf of the international Latsis Foundation by the SNSF, it honours the outstanding scientific achievements of researchers under the age of 40 working in Switzerland.

The thirtieth award ceremony will take place on 16 January 2014 as of 10:30 a.m. at the Rathaus in Berne. This event is open to all news media.
You can download a photograph of David Sander at:
www.snsf.ch > Media > Press releases
The text and photo of this press release can be found on the website of the Swiss National Science Foundation: www.snf.ch/E/media/pressreleases/Pages/2013.aspx

Media - Abteilung Kommunikation | idw
Further information:
http://www.snf.ch/E/media/pressreleases/Pages/2013.aspx

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>