EMCO - Emotion(s), cognition, comportement

Study of the relationships between cognition, motivation, and personality, for emotional adaptation and regulation, using empathic virtual simulation – COMPARSE

Submission summary

The present project aims to investigate the links between emotions, cognition and behaviour in terms of performance facilitation, protection, and vulnerability as a function of empathetic emotional contexts. The main hypothesis is that the emotional context’s effect on perceptive, executive, motor performances, as well as social cognition, varies according to (1) temperamental factors (personality traits) and (2) the type of empathic adaptation (pre-reflexive vs reflexive ; virtuous vs prejudicial).

The groundbreaking nature of this project stems, on the one hand, from an interdisciplinary exploration of the links between emotion and cognition (differential psychology, psychopathology, cognitive neuropsychology, computer science, human movement sciences), and, on the other hand, from the will to understand emotional regulation and its mechanisms, not only in terms of emotional induction, but on how empathetic adaptation facilitates performance. Our population of interest will be healthy individuals, participants for whom temperamental traits are rarely taken into account in emotional adaptation research (e.g. the 5 factor model). The more traditional approach tends to prioritize the investigation of proximal performance predictors such as motivational states (e.g. self-efficacy precepts). Lastly, the current project will also include patients suffering from mood and/or social cognitive disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorders).

Attempts will be made to identify the factors which may pre-determine an individual’s disposition to take third party (in this case, a virtual character) performance feedback into account towards future performance modulation. Individual emotional regulation profiles could render vulnerable, protect, or facilitate performance depending on the empathetic emotional context. We aim to determine the sources of inter-individual variability which modulate performance (positively or negatively) when a virtual character is either expressing basic emotions that induce (or not) empathetic pre-reflexive resonance (e.g. joy, anger), or expressing more complex emotions, necessitating a more reflexive treatment of empathetic adaptation (e.g. satisfaction, deception, indifference).

The main outcome will be modelling of the relationship between emotion and cognition, namely, which component parts mediate the relationship (e.g. emotional regulation, self-efficacy precepts) and which parts (personality traits) moderate overall effects on performance. The applied consequences of the present project will be turned towards e-learning as well as the cognitive remediation of altered functions when working with patients presenting a dysfunction of the emotion-cognition links. Finally, the project hopes to assist protocol definition with regards to the investigation of links between emotions, cognitions and behaviours; to develop multimodal bodies of knowledge on spontaneous complex emotional expression behaviours; and to generate an adapted experimental platform integrating various existing tools towards the study of the affective interaction between users and virtual characters.

Project coordination

Michel-Ange AMORIM (Complexité, Innovation, Activités Motrices et Sportives) – michel-ange.amorim@u-psud.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LIMSI Laboratoire d'Informatique pour la Mécanique et les Sciences de l'Ingénieur
ECIPSY Etudes cliniques et innovations thérapeutiques en psychiatrie
CTI Caractérisation du tissu osseux par imagerie : techniques et applications
CIAMS Complexité, Innovation, Activités Motrices et Sportives

Help of the ANR 409,637 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2011 - 36 Months

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