POPANE – Polish treasure of world psychophysiology

POPANE – Polish treasure of world psychophysiology
10 years of work of several people, 1 157 examined cases and over 750 hours of video recordings – the result is the world’s largest database of physiological database of our emotions.

Do you know that feeling when the sight of your beloved literally takes your breath away? Or getting so excited that your palms sweat before unwrapping a gift? Or when watching successful athletes, you feel your heartbeat accelerate? These and other changes in human physiology have for years been considered one of the basic components of emotions experienced by humans says project manager Łukasz Kaczmarek, Ph.D, Profesor the Adam Mickiewicz University. Prof. Kaczmarek, together with Dr Maciej Behnke (also Adam Mickiewicz University) and scientists from the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center: Dr Mikołaj Buchwald, Szymon Kupiński and Adam Bykowski, form the core of the research team responsible for providing access to the data set.

The POPANE database (short for Psychophysiology of Positive and Negative Emotions) is the largest open and widely available collection of psychophysiological data on emotions. It is the result of seven separate studies conducted over a decade. Their common denominator was the juxtaposition of people’s non-verbal reactions (e.g. facial expressions, open, closed or withdrawn postures) to images of varying colour and emotional intensity presented, together with biosignals sent simultaneously by the body (e.g. heart rate, sweating, temporary skin discolouration).

The research results were published on January 20, 2022 in Scientific Data – a journal of the Nature publication group. As Dr Mikołaj Buchwald reveals to us – It is only a very promising beginning of an extremely exciting journey that will further take us into the corners of the world of science and education, business, art and even entertainment! Indeed, the research of our scientists will play a significant role in psychotherapy and education – especially when sessions and classes have been widely held online in recent years; in the recruitment process of new employees; and in the entertainment industry, to these methods will help to definitively verify the reception of new films, TV series and computer games before they become available to the mass audience.

It all started at the Laboratory of Health Psychophysiology at the Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science of Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU). Prof. Kaczmarek and Dr Behnke invited their partners from the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center to participate in the project; the cooperation also included scientists from foreign centers, such as Stanford or Amsterdam universities, and continues to this day.


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