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Oud B.,University of Zurich | Coppin G.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Coppin G.,University of Geneva
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Shall I go see a movie tonight, or rather buy some Chinese food? Obviously, such choices between different classes of goods ("reward types") are conceptually complex and methodologically challenging to investigate. Yet, they occur frequently in everyday life. How, then, does the brain solve such problems? The view that diverse behavioral acts and sensory stimuli may be compared via a value signal that is computed on a common scale, much like an internal currency (Montague and Berns, 2002), is gaining traction in decision neuroscience and neuroeconomics. According to this notion, a decision value is computed for each option. These are then compared,andthe optionwith thehighest decision value is most likely chosen. Such comparisons require that decision values areonthe same scale-which is what the notion of a common currency captures. © 2012 the authors.


Goudbeek M.,University of Tilburg | Scherer K.,Swiss Center for Affective science
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

The important role of arousal in determining vocal parameters in the expression of emotion is well established. There is less evidence for the contribution of emotion dimensions such as valence and potency/control to vocal emotion expression. Here, an acoustic analysis of the newly developed Geneva Multimodal Emotional Portrayals corpus, is presented to examine the role of dimensions other than arousal. This corpus contains twelve emotions that systematically vary with respect to valence, arousal, and potency/control. The emotions were portrayed by professional actors coached by a stage director. The extracted acoustic parameters were first compared with those obtained from a similar corpus [Banse and Scherer (1996). J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 70, 614-636] and shown to largely replicate the earlier findings. Based on a principal component analysis, seven composite scores were calculated and were used to determine the relative contribution of the respective vocal parameters to the emotional dimensions arousal, valence, and potency/control. The results show that although arousal dominates for many vocal parameters, it is possible to identify parameters, in particular spectral balance and spectral noise, that are specifically related to valence and potency/control. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.


Dardard F.,Telecom ParisTech | Gnecco G.,IMT Institute for Advanced Studies | Glowinski D.,Swiss Center for Affective science
Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems | Year: 2016

The aim of the present work is to analyze automatically the leading interactions between the musicians of a string quartet, using machine-learning techniques applied to nonverbal features of the musicians' behavior, which are detected through the help of a motion-capture system. We represent these interactions by a graph of "influence" of the musicians, which displays the relations "is following" and "is not following" with weighted directed arcs. The goal of the machine-learning problem investigated is to assign weights to these arcs in an optimal way. Since only a subset of the available training examples are labeled, a semisupervised support vector machine is used, which is based on a linear kernel to limit its model complexity. Specific potential applications within the field of human-computer interaction are also discussed, such as e-learning, networked music performance, and social active listening.


Allali G.,University of Geneva | Van Der Meulen M.,University of Geneva | Van Der Meulen M.,University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center | Beauchet O.,University of Angers | And 5 more authors.
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2014

Background. Aging is often associated with modifications of gait. Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between gait and executive functions in healthy and pathological aging. We hypothesized that modification of gait due to aging may be related to changes in frontal lobe function. Methods. Fourteen younger (27.0±3.6 years) and 14 older healthy adults (66.0±3.5 years) performed a motor imagery task of gait as well as a matched visual imagery task. Task difficulty was modulated to investigate differential activation for precise control of gait. Task performance was assessed by recording motor imagery latencies, eye movements, and electromyography during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Results. Our results showed that both healthy older and young adults recruited a network of brain regions comprising the bilateral supplementary motor cortex and primary motor cortex, right prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum, during motor imagery of gait. We observed an age-related increase in brain activity in the right supplementary motor area (BA6), the right orbitofrontal cortex (BA11), and the left dorsolateral frontal cortex (BA10). Activity in the left hippocampus was significantly modulated by task difficulty in the elderly participants. Executive functioning correlated with magnitude of increases in right primary motor cortex (BA4) during the motor imagery task. Conclusions. Besides demonstrating a general overlap in brain regions recruited in young and older participants, this study shows age-related changes in cerebral activation during mental imagery of gait. Our results underscore the importance of executive function (dorsolateral frontal cortex) and spatial navigation or memory function (hippocampus) in gait control in elderly individuals. © The Author 2013.


Billieux J.,University of Geneva | Billieux J.,Swiss Center for Affective science | Chanal J.,University of Geneva | Khazaal Y.,University of Geneva | And 7 more authors.
Psychopathology | Year: 2011

Background: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) are video games in which a large number of players interact with one another in a persistent virtual world. MMORPGs can become problematic and result in negative outcomes in daily living (e.g. loss of control on gaming behaviors, compromised social and individual quality of life). The aim of the present study is to investigate psychological predictors of problematic involvement in MMORPGs. Sampling and Methods: Fifty-four males who played MMORPGs regularly were recruited in cybercafés and screened using the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale (which assesses 4 facets of impulsivity) and the Motivation to Play Online Questionnaire (which assesses personal motives to play online). Negative consequences due to excessive time spent on the Internet were assessed with the Internet Addiction Test. Results: Multiple regression analysis showed that problematic use of MMORPGs is significantly predicted by: (1) high urgency (b = 0.45), and (2) a motivation to play for immersion (b = 0.35). Conclusion: This study showed that, for certain individuals (who are characterized by a proneness to act rashly in emotional contexts and motivated to play to be immersed in a virtual world), involvement in MMORPGs can become problematic and engender tangible negative consequences in daily life. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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