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Testing emotional vulnerability to threat in adults using a virtual reality paradigm of fear associated with autonomic variables

Grant number: 21/14073-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2022 - May 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal researcher:Marcus Lira Brandão
Grantee:Marcus Lira Brandão
Home Institution: Instituto de Neurociências e Comportamento (INEC). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Manoel Jorge Nobre Do Espirito Santo ; Norberto Cysne Coimbra ; Rita de Cássia Camargo Brandão ; Ruth Estevão
Associated scholarship(s):22/07916-0 - Development of virtual reality paradigms as models for different types of anxiety, BP.TT

Abstract

In view of the emergence of pandemics that devastate public health in Brazil and in the world, generating devastating effects on the population and, above all, leaving sequelae in the mental health of individuals with own experience of contagion or had close people who were affected by these diseases it is imperative that we undertake actions aimed at promoting strategies that improve people's emotional conditions to deal with threats and danger. Therefore, from the perspective of a more visible action now, as in the post-pandemic, it is necessary to install care services in the context of mental health in view of the dystopian manifestations that arise in individuals living in social emergency due to mental changes determined by the uncertainty of the conflict between preserving oneself or going out in search of the family's sustenance and survival. The current situation requires actions aimed at establishing tests, strategies and mechanisms to i) detect the level of mental health impairment determined by the new social modus faciendi. This project presents a model that associates the behavioral effects determined by the distance and intensity of aversive events (in this case, moderate and high-intensity white noise) with changes in heart rates, respiratory rates and blood oxygen saturation levels during a virtual paradigm prey/predator dynamic, developed here at INeC. Throughout the project, we will add blood pressure, skin electrical conductance and capnography records to the app. In this context, it is intended to assess the emotional condition of individuals living under conditions of social stress in current times. In addition, as socioeconomic and health conditions deteriorated, with regard to the social determinants of the pandemic, it is certain that a highly complex scenario was created with important consequences in the recruitment of adaptive processes that modulate the neural defense networks activated by the most diverse sources of emotional stress underlying the manifestations of different types of anxiety. (AU)

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