NEURESILProgramul Cercetare – PN III – Programul 1 –Dezvoltarea sistemului național de cercetare-dezvoltare
Tip proiect: Proiecte de cercetare pentru stimularea tinerelor echipe independente
Titlul proiectului: Markeri neurofiziologici ai rezilienței față de tulburări frecvente de sănătate mintală
Contract de finanțare nr. TE 126 ⁄ 2022, nr înregistrare UNATC 2178/03.06.2022 și UEFSICDI 1764/06.06.2022
The overarching goal of NEURESIL is to understand resilience mechanisms from a neurodevelopmental perspective by the means of measuring real-time electrophysiology during an exciting virtual reality experience (VR).
Prevention by training resilience is a promising strategy that attempts to lower the current socio-economic burden of stress-related mental health issues and could make a lasting impact on our evolving society.
As a first step towards this goal, it is necessary to identify robust neurophysiological markers of resilience during adolescence. We will investigate the interaction between multiple distinct factors of resilience: individual traits, behavior, brain activity, and hormones.
The project will train adolescents to navigate challenging VR tasks by applying recent highly immersive technologies to identify an objective neuro-hormonal marker of resilience.
NEURESIL RESEARCH TEAM
Miralena I. Tomescu, Ph.D. – Principal Investigator (P.I.)
Miralena is a scientific researcher at CINETic, an Associate Professor at the University of Suceava & University of Bucharest, Psychology Faculty where she teaches methods in neuroscience, cognitive and clinical neuroscience, and psychopathology. During her Ph.D. and post-doctoral studies at the Functional Brain Mapping Lab, University of Geneva, she established gender-specific trajectories of brain development and early neurophysiological markers for genetically determined schizophrenia. More recently she investigated the underlying brain and spontaneous cognition correlates of mirroring behavior. Her core research interests are focused on neuronal-hormonal mechanisms of social cognition and stress resilience.
Alina Cristina Chivu – doctoral research assistant
Alina is an assistant doctoral student at The Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Bucharest, and a licensed clinical psychologist and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist with children and adolescents. She teaches scientific research methods, psychopathology, and cognitive strategies to optimize behavior as she investigates in her doctoral research the underlining cognitive bias of vulnerability to anxiety and depression. Her research interests are focused on the cognitive mechanisms in psychopathology, computer-based interventions in reducing anxiety disorders, emotional regulation strategies, and social interventions in autism spectrum disorder.
Ciprian Făcăeru – doctoral research assistant
Ciprian is a research assistant and P.h.D at CINETic, UNATC, and co-founder of Augmented Space Agency, a studio for extended reality (XR) experiences and applied digital mediated interactions and augmentation technologies. His doctoral research is focused on set/scenographic design for interactive-immersive-augmented reality media technologies applied in visual and performative arts.
Architect of virtual spaces, experience designer, and new-media artist, his research interests are focused on emerging new-media technologies and their technological impact on modern societies through new art forms and expressions, like the digital visual and performing arts.
Dan Făcăeru – technological research assistant
Dan holds a background in architecture, product, and graphic design, he is also an XR software developer and interaction designer at Augmented Space Agency. He has experience in developing software solutions integrated with augmented and virtual reality, or other immersive and interactive environments. His research interest is to discover, explore and create novel experiences that make use of new media technologies and digital visual arts.
Ana – Karina Nazare – doctoral research assistant
Karina is a research assistant at UPB – the Politehnica of Bucharest and at CINETic, and a Ph.D. student at UPB. Her doctoral research focuses on the qualitative and quantitative measures of embodied presence in immersive environments. An experienced programmer, an artist, and neuroscience passionate, she finds her calling in the hybrid area of scientific research, visual arts, and graphical programming. Her research interests are on electrophysiological and behavioral correlates of immersion in virtual reality, for beneficial real-time VR applications.
Alexandra Sofonea, Ph.D. – postdoctoral research assistant
Alexandra is a post-doctoral research associate at CINETic with a double degree in Theatre and Psychology. During her Ph.D. she focused on performing artists` mental health and more recently investigated the beneficial effects of actor training interventions. Her broad research interests are in the social, psychological, and neurophysiological substrates of human interaction and artistic creation.
Sabin Șerban – technological research assistant
Sabin is a developer and designer working in the field of Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, together with his colleagues at Augmented Space Agency. He uses digital media to create innovative experiences that make these new forms of expression more accessible to everyone. His research interest is in the internet of things and has begun developing machine learning and deep neural networks in the context of gamified simulations and training scenarios for research.