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Promoting social interaction through emotional body odours

Objective

The way chemistry influences human communication is one of the most intriguing and debated topics. More specifically, the nature of chemosignals and their sphere of influence on social interaction is a very important key to understanding human behaviour. POTION proposes a novel technological paradigm to delve deeper into understanding meaningful social interaction, combining new knowledge about the chemical composition of human social chemosignals together with a novel olfactory-based technology designed to drive social behaviour. A first challenging analysis on human chemosignals to delineate the chemical underpinnings of the emotions of happiness and fear will be carried out since they are the representative emotions that drive approach and avoidance behaviour, i.e., the fundamental building blocks of social interaction between individuals of the same species. Results of this analysis will be used to artificially synthetize the chemosignals of these two emotions, which will provide the basis of an innovative computer-controlled odour delivery system able to drive the approach-avoidance social strategy. This breakthrough device will be controlled in a closed loop by the social-emotional state of the subjects evaluated through a novel computational neural model. The POTION system will be applied and tested in both social and clinical scenarios. In the social scenarios, we venture to reveal how olfaction clues work in managing the feelings of trust, presence and inclusion, in both virtual, real, and social media contexts. In the clinical scenario, POTION will propose a new human chemosignal-based diagnosis and treatment for social anxiety, phobias and depression, which are known to all share impaired social functioning. POTION will provide further insight to the fundamental underpinnings of human behaviour with the goal to help establish healthy social relationships through trust, leading to an overall improvement in wellbeing.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETPROACT-2018-01
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Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DI PISA
Address
Lungarno Pacinotti 43/44
56126 Pisa
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 410 450

Participants (9)

ISPA CRL
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 788 645
Address
Rua Jardim Do Tabaco 34
1149 041 Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 759 687,50
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SRA INSTRUMENTS SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 819 168,75
Address
210 Rue Des Sources
69280 Marcy-l'etoile
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE VALENCIA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 498 925
Address
Camino De Vera Sn Edificio 3A
46022 Valencia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 648 773,75
Address
Wivenhoe Park
CO4 3SQ Colchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 416 250
Address
Via 8 Febbraio 2
35122 Padova
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INVENTYA VENTURES (EU) LIMITED
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 426 625
Address
Taylor's Lane
8 Dublin
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 424 375
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
FEEL-ING S.R.L.
Italy
EU contribution
€ 367 250
Address
Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1
56122 Pisa
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)