Séminaires IPSY - IPSY Seminars


Agenda des séminaires (Les personnes extérieures à l’institut IPSY sont invitées à prendre contact avec l’organisateur·trice du séminaire)


Thursday, May 28 - 10 am
Room E139

Childhood adversities, interoception and emotion regulation in alcohol use disorders
Andrzej Jakubczyk & Maciej Kopera, Université de Varsovie (Pologne)

Childhood adversities, interoception (the way one perceives internal, somatic stimuli from the body) and emotion dysregulation have been all linked to the risk of development and course of alcohol use disorders (AUD). During the session, associations between all these factors will be discussed basing on recent findings from the study performed at the Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Warsaw. Specifically, dr. Jakubczyk will present on how interoceptive accuracy and sensibility may affect emotion regulation and how resilience to pain (specific interoceptive stimulus) may mediate the association between childhood trauma and emotion dysregulation. Dr. Kopera will present results of two studies on different (clinical and non-clinical) populations. The first study was aimed at investigating if the presence of risky alcohol use during the developmental age would influence the relationship between childhood adversity and mental states recognition in early adulthood. The second study assessed, whether the transgression from risky alcohol use to AUD would influence the trauma-mentalization relationship in another treatment seeking AUD sample. Results of all presented studies will be discussed in the context of possible clinical implications for treatment of AUD.

Invited by: Pierre Maurage & LEP

Monday, March 16 - 2 pm
Room E139

Mental State Inference as a Gating Mechanism to Cognitive and Affective Processes
Lasana T. Harris University College London

People flexibly infer mental states—think about the minds of others. This spontaneous psychological process imbues social targets with full humanity, or denies them full humanity when withheld. Mental state inferences can trigger or inhibit other psychological processes, including logical reasoning, learning, economic valuation, and empathic responses. Here, I discuss behavioural and brain evidence for this gating mechanism across economic and legal contexts. Specifically, I discuss research where people are commoditised, tortured, or engaged in collusion, and highlight the influence of mental state inferences on cognitive and affective psychological processes.

Invited by: Pierre Maurage, Stéphanie Demoulin, Florence Stinglhamber

Thursday, February 6 - 1 pm
Room: salle du conseil A224

A novel framework for the neural organization of action and object knowledge
Moritz Wurm, Trento University

How is knowledge about things and events in the world organized in the brain? Popular theories suggest a major division between occipitotemporal and frontoparietal cortex in representing object and action information, respectively. Here I challenge this view by taking a closer look at the neural pathway of action recognition and understanding: In a series of fMRI-based MVPA studies, I show that critical levels of action representation – from basic perceptual action precursors (such as body movements toward different types of entities) to perceptually invariant representations of action meaning – can be localized in lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) rather than frontoparietal areas. Moreover, the representational organization of actions in LOTC follows salient semantic principles and appears topographically aligned with related object representations. Based on these findings, I propose an updated model of knowledge organization in occipitotemporal cortex.

Invited by: Gilles Vannuscorps

Thursday, February 6 - 11 am
Room: salle du conseil A224

Understanding substance use in adolescence and emerging adulthood: epidemiological and psychometrical perspectives
Stéphanie Baggio
, Hôpitaux Universitaire de Genève, Suisse

Substance use initiation and escalation are major health concerns and it is crucial to understand how adolescents start to use substances and how they may progress through the drug course. This presentation will first explain how initiation and escalation of substance use occur and which key features should be targeted to develop efficient preventive interventions. Then, we will focus on screening for substance use disorders, as current screening tools are imprecise and can lead to an overestimation of “addicted” individuals. We will discuss in detail the current issues and future challenges to assess adequately substance use disorders, and in our case, alcohol use disorder. Of critical interest will be the focus on methodological and psychometrical challenges in the measurement of substance use.

Invited by: Alexandre Heeren & Pierre Maurage

Thursday, January 30 - 10 am
Room E139

In control? How emotional and physiological states impact impulsive actions and decisions - the relationship to alcohol use
Aleksandra Herman
, Royal Holloway, University of London

Impulsivity refers to both a stable personality trait and a set of behaviours which undergo momentary changes depending on the current circumstances. Impulsivity plays a vital role in daily life as well as clinical practice as it is associated with drug misuse and certain neuropsychiatric conditions. Because of its great health and well-being importance, it is crucial to understand factors which modulate impulsive behaviours. In this talk, I am going to present research using a variety of methods, including behavioural testing, physiological recordings, psychopharmacology and neuroimaging, investigating the role of emotions and physiological arousal as modulators of impulsive actions and decisions in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that changes in internal bodily state are related to behavioural impulsivity level. Staying more attuned to those changes and finding adaptive ways to adjust behaviour according to bodily needs might be vital to reducing impulsivity levels. I will also discuss how it might be relevant to alcohol use initiation and progression.

Invited by: Pierre Maurage & LEP




Thursday, December 12 - 0:30 pm
Room D312

When and why is thinking about what might have been functional?
Epstude Kai
, University of Groningen

In the present talk, I will give an updated version of the functional theory of counterfactual thinking. I will outline that the functionality of counterfactual thoughts is linked to the goals individuals pursue as well as the needs that are relevant in a given situation. The respective changes in affect and motivation influence future behavior. In support of this argument, I will present empirical evidence from different domains, such as risk taking behavior in a health context as well as bereavement. These studies will illustrate the importance of examining real-life situations when studying counteefactuals and the related affective experiences.

Invited by:  Karl-Andrew Woltin, Julie Terrache

Thursday December 12 - 11 am
Room: Socr 43

Affective Disturbances in Psychosis: Do Aberrant Affect Dynamics Play a Role?
Ulrike Nowak, Hamburg University

Historically, psychotic disorders have been considered genetic brain diseases that are open only to psychopharmacological treatment. However, decades of psychological research have now demonstrated that psychotic symptoms like paranoia occur not only in clinical samples but are distributed as quantitative traits in the general population. Furthermore, evidence shows that a number of common psychological processes, including affective processes, are implicated in the etiology of psychosis and from these insights psychological interventions have been developed. To increase the effectiveness of these interventions, a more detailed understanding of how exactly affective functioning is compromised in psychosis is needed. In this respect, recent findings point towards a role of aberrancies in affect dynamics, which describe the patterns and regularities with which affect fluctuates over time. Research has put forward several approaches to make affect dynamics describable and preliminary evidence suggests that more unstable but also more inert affect dynamics are associated with psychosis. I will present data from an experience-sampling study that aims to disentangle the relative contributions of different aspects of affect dynamics to paranoid thoughts in a general population sample. Implications for emotion-focused psychological interventions for psychosis and avenues for future research are discussed.

Invited by: Alexandre Heeren

Friday December 6 - 1:30 pm
Room: Socr 011

Parental Burnout and Sibling Relationships in Chinese Adolescents

Bin Bin Chen, Fundan University, China

Background: Since the implementation of the comprehensive second-child policy in 2016, the number of two-child families in China has risen sharply.
However, very little practical information is available for those parents to help them improve sibling relationship quality. The current research was designed to remedy this situation by conducting the study on Chinese adolescents’ sibling relationships. In addition, existing research on parenting burnout is still scarce, in particular the research on the impact of parenting burnout on child development. Based on previous research dealing with parental roles in sibling relationship quality, the present study aimed to examine how parental burnout would affect the children's sibling relationship through the mediator of parenting behavior.
Methods: Young adolescents and their mothers from 208 families in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China participated in this research. Mean age of adolescents (93 boys, 115 girls) was 13.10 years (SD= 1.90). All adolescents in the present study had at least one sibling, with a mean age of 12.72 years (SD= 7.49). The mean age difference between the siblings was 6.82 years (SD =3.46). Mothers were, on average, 39.26 years old and had completed 9.91 years of education. Mothers completed questionnaires that assessed parenting burnout. Furthermore, adolescents competed questionnaires that assessed sibling relationship and mother's parenting behaviors.
Results and Discussion:: We followed current standard practice for mediation analyses (Hayes, 2013), using Model 4 in the PROCESS macro for SPSS. The results showed that higher levels of maternal burnout led to more neglected parenting behavior, which in turn increased adolescents’ conflicts and avoidance in sibling relations but decreased sibling intimacy. The current findings suggested that mother’s mental statement did affect the child's sibling relationship, and this role was transmitted through parenting. The findings provided a new perspective for improving the sibling relationship.
Intervention or prevention should focus on mothers’ maternal mental state in order to improve the sibling relationships. Because of the different parenting roles between father and mother in a Chinese family, future studies should include fathers to examine this issue.

Invited by: Isabelle Roskam, Moïra Mikolajczak, Alexandre Heeren

Friday November 22nd 11 am
Room E241

What do the public understand about intersex and its medicalization?
Peter Hegarty, University of Surrey

Intersex also called “variable sex characteristics” and “disorders of sex development” refers to physical characteristics that are different from normative definitions of male and female bodies. Early medical interventions on such characteristics are ongoing and increasingly critiqued as infringing human rights around the world. Whilst such interventions have, for decades, been justified on the grounds that they avoid what would otherwise be unbearable stigma, this form of stigma has been virtually ignored by social psychologists. Accordingly, the questions of how ordinary members of the public conceptualize intersex and whether or not they support early medicalization has remained under-researched. Drawing together research from focus groups, surveys, and experiments conducted in the UK, USA and Scandanavia, I will argue that public understanding of intersex is constructed through analogies to more familiar experiences, that sexual identity is an important predictor of opinions about medicalization, and that laypeople sometimes underestimate the difficulties of constructing one’s intersex characteristics as the grounds for an intersex social identity.

Invited by: Annalisa Casini

Friday November 15 - 2 pm
Room: Montesquieu 03

Stress: The quiet killer
Daryl O'Connor
, University of Leeds

This talk will argue that stress may indirectly contribute to health risk and reduced longevity to the extent that it produces deleterious changes in diet and/or helps maintain maladaptive health behaviours as well as directly by influencing biological processes across the life span (e.g., blood pressure, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning). Studies investigating the relationship between chronic stress, perseverative cognition, the cortisol response and health outcomes will be presented. The second half of the talk will describe recent work investigating the effects of childhood trauma and the role of HPA axis responses to stress in vulnerability to suicide. The importance of studying the effects of stress across the life course and developing stress management interventions will also be highlighted.

Invited by: Olivier Luminet & Labo Illuminetti

Jeudi 14 novembre de 15h à 17h
Salle du conseil A224

Souffrance au travail et consommation d’alcool au Togo
Pari Pabousoum, 
Université de Lomé, Togo

L’objectif de cette étude est d’examiner les difficultés psychologiques liées au travail et les motivations qui expliquent des comportements de consommation d’alcool chez des travailleurs au Togo. Il s’agit d’une étude prospective qui a concerné trente-cinq sujets masculins adultes admis en hospitalisation au service d’Hépato-Gastro Entérologie du CHU-Campus de Lomé (Togo) pour une maladie du foie provoquée par la consommation d’alcool en lien avec leurs conditions de travail. La collecte des données a été effectuée au cours de l’évaluation psychologique de ces patients au moyen de l’observation directe, de l’entretien individuel semi-structuré et de l’échelle de Karasek. L’étude a permis de mettre en évidence des contraintes mentales importantes du travail et des fonctions de l’alcool pour y faire face. Par exemple, la consommation de l’alcool au travail s’est révélée être un moyen pour 91,4% des enquêtés de supporter les traitements qu’ils jugent humiliants de leurs supérieurs hiérarchiques. Par ailleurs, certains participants affirment consommer de l’alcool pour « se sentir vigoureux et être plus vigilent au travail » et d’autres affirment que l’alcool les aide à combattre la peur et à braver la douleur. C’est aussi un moyen qui leur assure le « courage pour faire face à l’hypocrisie et à l’indifférence des collègues ». La théorie de la psychodynamique au travail (Christophe Dejours) a servi de grille de lecture des résultats. En effet, la souffrance est consubstantielle à toute situation de travail et constitue un état de lutte que vivent les travailleurs pour demeurer dans la normalité et ne pas sombrer dans la dépression et le burn out. L’alcool serait donc un moyen de lutte pour surmonter les difficultés liées aux relations de travail. Malheureusement, cet état de lutte a un coût à la fois psychique et somatique.

Invitants : Jan De Mol, Ogma Hatta

Wednesday, November 6 - 2:00 pm
Room E139

MOOCs as Drivers for Hybrid Learning Initiatives
Carlos Alario Hoyos
, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

MOOCs not only represent a great evolution for open education, but also allowed many educational institutions to boost their digital transformation. Prof. Armando Fox coined the term SPOC (Small Private Online Course) in late 2013 to refer to the use of MOOCs as a supplement to classroom instruction. Hybrid models that mix face-to-face and virtual instruction have been adopted by more and more educational institutions since then. The flipped classroom is one of the best-known models, although it presents important problems if students do not do their part at home before going to the classroom. This presentation shares the experience of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, a traditional public university in Spain that has committed to an important digital transformation in recent years thanks to MOOCs.

Invited by: Mariane Frenay, Magali Paquot (FIAL/ILC), François Lambotte (ESPO/ILC), Valérie Swaen (LSM/LRIM)

Lundi 28 octobre - 16h00
Salle du conseil A224

Physical activities and exercise for healthy cognitive aging (Présentation en français)
Dr. Louis Bherer, M.Ps., Ph.D, Department of Medicine, University of Montreal Preventive Medicine and Physical Activity Centre (Centre ÉPIC)

Physical activity and exercise can help improve cognition, quality of life and mobility in older adults. This talk will be an overview of more than ten years of intervention studies from our lab supporting the notion that multiple exercise modality, from aerobic endurance training to resistance, gross motor exercise and dance training can lead to several benefits in older adults. Our results suggest that these programs can help enhance cognition, quality of life and boost biomarkers associated with brain plasticity (e.g., BDNF). Studies with patients also suggest that physical activity and exercise can be used as effective non-pharmaceutical intervention in frail older adults and patients with Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment at dementia.

Invitant : Stefan Agrigoroaei 

Thursday, September 26th - 10 am
Room E241

Investigating the transition from binge drinking to alcohol dependence: Some key issues and findings
Antoinette Poulton
, University of Melbourne (Australia)

Alcohol dependent individuals are characterised by loss of control, which manifests as a strong desire to consume alcohol, difficulty regulating intake, and continuing to drink despite negative consequences. Heightened impulsivity, which arises from an imbalance in the brain between reward sensitive processes and cognitive control mechanisms, is implicated as a key factor underpinning this loss of control. Research concentrating on vulnerability for dependence in binge drinkers has also focused on impulsivity, but results have been inconsistent. Several pertinent factors may be at play. Firstly, it is possible irregularities regarding definitions of binge drinking plus a reliance on retrospective methods of assessing consumption undermine research findings. Secondly, an overarching concern regards low statistical power. To combat these issues, we developed a smartphone app to gather information about alcohol intake behaviour in real time. Additionally, survey and impulsivity data was collected entirely online in order to attract a larger and more diverse sample than previous studies. Results to date will be presented.

Invited by: Pierre Maurage & LEP

Tuesday, September 3 - 3pm (Two presentations)
Room E241

A) The tale of flipping beauty: How fluency and categorization shape our preferences
     Piotr Winkielman, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Who's the fairest of them all? My talk argues that our mind’s answer to this question emerges via interaction of processing fluency (effort) and categorization. I’ll start with a classic effect – “beauty-in-averages” (BIA) – where “blended” or “composite” stimuli are appealing. This effect occurs with a variety of natural and artificial objects. Some think the BIA results from koinophilia – a biological tendency to avoid unusual or deviant features. However, I will argue that the BIA reflects hedonic reactions to greater fluency (efficiency) with which average stimuli are usually processed. More interestingly, I will also show that we can reverse this preference with manipulations that change how efficiently the “averages” or “blends” are processed. Specifically, blends can be fluent and liked, but also disfluent and disliked. What specifically happens depends on the perceiver’s expertise with exemplars and categories, and also on how the perceiver constructs the task-relevant category. I will show examples of this flexibility across a variety of stimuli, including social categories of gender and races. In general, I will argue that the flexibility of beauty is at least partly explainable by the “processing dynamics” of the beholder.

   B) Mouth and mind: How superficial language patterns affect our feelings
Sascha Topolinski, Université de Cologne (Universität zu Köln)

This talk highlights recent approaches exploring a thus overlooked route to attitudes, namely motoric articulation patterns of names that invoke approach and avoidance tendencies and thereby trigger positive attitudes towards the objects and products that bear such names. Specifically, names are construed for which the articulations spots of the consonants wander either from the front to the back of the mouth (inward, such as BAKO) or from the back to the front of the mouth (outward, such as KABO). In several lines of studies, participants express higher favorability of inward over outward words. Moreover, persons and companies with inward names are liked more than persons with outward names. Also, participants report higher product liking, purchase intentions, and higher willingness-to-pay for products with inward over outward names. When food is labelled such way, participants report higher palatability of and even consume more of food bearing inward compared to outward names.

Invited by: Anne Kever, Nicolas Vermeulen

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