BIAL Award in Biomedicine 2023

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14th Symposium
“Behind and Beyond the Brain”

April 3 to 6, 2024
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Maria de Sousa Award 2024

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Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2024

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BIAL Foundation

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Supporting Scientific Research

In Psychophysiology and Parapsychology
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People with more peace of mind are better at regulating emotions?

Research shows that people with higher levels of peace of mind are better at reinterpreting situations to regulate their emotions, rather than suppressing them.

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Mother's stress during pregnancy can impact children’s sleep in childhood

Study shows that mothers' psychosocial stress during pregnancy has negative associations with their children's sleep that persist across childhood.

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Do robots have to be human-like for us to trust them?

Recently published research assessed human trust when collaborating with eyed and non-eyed robots of the same type.

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News

The interplay between rhythm and motor skills

São Luís Castro, principal investigator of the research project 304/14 - The impact of music training on reading and mathematical abilities of normal and reading disabled children: a behavioral and neuroimaging longitudinal study, supported by the BIAL Foundation, aimed to study the interplay between rhythm and motor skills in the context of music training, at behavioral and brain levels. In a longitudinal study with children, it was explored whether the ability to perceive or reproduce rhythm (predisposition) modulates the motor improvements associated with music training, and identified brain regions implicated in the putative links between rhythm and motor learning. Fifty-seven 8-year-old children participated in a longitudinal study where they completed rhythm and motor tasks, as well as structural MRI scans before and after a 6-month music training (n= 21) or a sports program (n= 18), or no specific training (passive control group, n = 18). It was found that music training improved motor performance (and also rhythm), and that the magnitude of the improvement depended on the ability to perceive rhythm before training (i.e., better rhythm predisposition, more significant improvements). Music training also induced a loss of gray matter volume in the left cerebellum and fusiform gyrus, and volume loss correlated with higher motor gains. No such effects were found in the sports and control groups. These findings are presented in the paper Individual differences in rhythm perception modulate music‑related motor learning: a neurobehavioral training study with children published in Scientific Reports.

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How do blind individuals perceive emotional authenticity?

In the scope of the research project 148/18 - Voice perception in the visually deprived brain: Behavioral and electrophysiological insights, supported by the BIAL Foundation, the research team, led by Tatiana Conde, aimed to explore how blind individuals perceive emotional authenticity. Combining behavioural and ERP measures it was investigated authenticity perception in laughter and crying in individuals early-blind (n = 17) late-blind (n = 17), and sighted control participants (n = 51). Behaviourally, early-blind and sighted participants performed similarly well in emotional authenticity perception, but the late-blind group performed worse than sighted controls. In brain responses, all groups were sensitive to laughter authenticity at the P2 stage, and to crying authenticity at the early LPP stage. Nevertheless, only early-blind participants were sensitive to crying authenticity at the N1 and middle LPP stages, and to laughter authenticity at the early LPP stage. Furthermore, early-blind and sighted participants were more sensitive than late-blind ones to crying authenticity at the P2 and late LPP stages. Altogether, these findings suggest that prolonged visual deprivation with late-onset impairs the processing of emotional authenticity. For more information read the paper Blindness influences emotional authenticity perception in voices: Behavioral and ERP evidence published in the journal Cortex.

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Maria de Sousa Award 2024: applications are open

Applications are now open for the Maria de Sousa Award 4th edition - 2024, promoted by the Portuguese Medical Association and the BIAL Foundation.

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