Researchers of the University Miguel Hernández (UMH) and the University Hospital of San Juan, with FISABIO have developed a revolutionary study in Pediatrics. The pediatric brain emotional processing.
The professional team will study the emotional processing in pediatric population through the image. The purpose of this study is focused on providing support in the treatment of pediatric patients with difficulties in the identification and transmission of emotions. With the support of the Foundation for the Promotion of Health Research and Biomedical of Valencian Community (FISABIO).
What is the team of the brain emotional processing in pediatrics composed?
- Francisco Sánchez Ferrer: pediatrician at the University Hospital of San Juan de Alicante and main researcher. Under the title “Study that will use images of the brain image processing with emotional valence in pediatric population by space-temporal analysis with electroencephalography”.
- Eduardo Fernández: professor of Neuroengineering Biomedical Group of the UMH (NBIO)
- María Dolores Grima: researcher at the Institute of Bioengineering of the UMH and specialist of studies of Electroencephalography (EEG).
Is the study of brain emotional processing in pediatrics complete?
Children become the characters of the experimental study based on internationally standardized emotions. The new project has recently achieved the 29th Dodot Scholarship 2017, with 12,000 euros, of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics.
The main challenges of the study are:
- validate a database with different images, which must rate it based on their tastes in pediatric patients.
- use techniques of electroencephalography to check the brain activity in response to the display of each image.
The use of a new 64-channel EEG lets get a temporal precision of milliseconds, with a successful spatial localization. Therefore, through a limited number of electrodes and a simple interface, it is possible to have knowledge of the primary response to an image. The person, although does not manifest their emotions or convey the opposite will always emit response.
Is the additional information provide the mentors of the study of the brain emotional processing in children efective?
Francisco Sánchez Ferrer, of the Pediatric service of the HU San Juan, says that: “we want to measure the emotional immediate response, identify changes in the spatial and temporal location of brain activity using EEG in children that we are going to present this series of images sequentially. “In the end, it is about what part of the brain is activated and how long and what we like or do not like”.
On the other hand, Fernández Jover, researcher of the UMH, argues that: “Although in recent years there has been several studies of the processing of emotions in the brain in the adult population, there are too few studies conducted in pediatric population. In addition, the research could help better understand the foundations of cerebral processing of images during development and in subjects with different pathologies”.
In this context, “in the pediatric age group there are many patients that present difficulties for compression, performance or transmission of emotions, so that in the future, we plan to study people with different pathological changes, for instance autism spectrum disorders, due to these technologies offer a wide range of management options with great potential”, added the professor at UMH.
The results would be useful for the development of reliable neural interfaces (which would mean a substantial change in the communication), diagnostics and treatment of patients with difficult communication or adaptive and understanding of patterns of brain processing of emotions in children. According to researchers, “it’s a basic study that can then be applied in pediatric patients that cannot identify or convey their emotions to complex visual stimuli. We could take a first step to be able to translate their emotions”.
¿How are the GNB at the UMH connected to this study?
The UMH Neuroengineering Biomedical Group has extensive experience in developments on brain processing. At the same time he developed a line of research focusing on the emotions. Several scientific publications in high impact journals have reported him for years. Most previous studies have focused on the adult population.