Research

HIPOTHESIS OR INVESTIGATION QUESTIONS

The main investigation question is:

How the interaction person-person methods with 12 Steps techniques activate can generate cerebral empathy and serve to be used in the recovery of different addiction?

The main hypothesis is that the addiction recovery method denominated: “12 Steps” it modulates and compensates the activated areas of the caused addictions of the “disease”; this is recognizable through Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) and Functional Magnetic Resonance (FMR) and through facial responses measurement (HER).

By means of the use of therapeutic techniques based on the principle practice of “12 Steps” where the addicts help each other by sharing their experiences, hope, and strength, in the acknowledgment and description of their sickness, and the behavior changes through ethical values as: honesty, receptivity, goodwill, value, integrity, humility, brotherly love, justice, constancy, conscience, unconditional service or love; the brain areas related with empathy are activated generating a balance in the neuronal connections, helping the recovery. 

GENERAL AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES 

General objectives of the Implementation of a Neuroscience Laboratory:

-Creation of a Neuroscience Laboratory of the Medical Science Faculty of the University of Cuenca.

-To fulfill a development in the activities of investigation, teaching, tutoring, and academic production with an institutional principle, generating collaborative-cooperative interdisciplinary work (Medicine-Psychology)

-To reinforce the basic science areas to support the laboratory: histology, histo-chemistry, anatomy, dissection, staining, biology, molecular biology, basic and clinic physiology.

-To reinforce basic sciences in the curriculum of the Medicine Career. 

-To initiate basic investigation procedural in neuroscience. 

-To initiate applied investigation procedural, behavior neurobiology, neuroscience and learning, sleep and learning. 

-To initiate clinical investigation procedural in other diseases and prevalent pathologies in the Ecuadorian community: cerebral paralysis, and neurodevelopment, dementia, Parkinson, ELA, epilepsy.   

-To develop new teaching and professional formation and perfectionism programs: Teaching Mastery, Neurology specialization, neuropsychology. 


Specific Objectives of the Neurocinema Investigation applied to Neurology and Neuropsychology for Addiction Recovery:

The investigation project concentrates in the identification of communicative elements and methodologies of neuroscience, neuropsychology, and Neurocinema that aim in the development of empathy, emotional identification, and their roles in the addiction treatments. 

To fulfill the main objective of the investigation, it is necessary to complete several specific objectives as:

-In relation with multidisciplinary Investigation: 

a)To develop different documental videos about the addiction recovery, applying EEG mapping techniques to identify the brain areas that activate empathy and emotional identification. 

b)To initiate applied multidisciplinary investigation procedure: neuroscience, neuropsychology, and Neurocinema: Communication + Health + Society + Art + Technology areas. 

c)To develop procedure of information and information of effective and free methods of addiction recovery and empathy generation.


-To train the future professionals through workshops about the importance of communication in relation with health, and the effective methods of addiction recoveries, as well as the collaborative work of public information.

-To develop information and suggestion for the addiction treatment for public politics of Health Ministry, Social Welfare, Repose and Addiction Center, and Justice Ministry to guide the addict patents to a recovery.


Based on the results we intend to design an open professorship for a Medicine Mater course in communication, neurology, neuropsychology, and Neurocinema at the University of Cuenca. 

-To present collaborations with the Laboratory and group of Neuroscience I+D with complementary proposes of national investigation, DIUC (In English, Investigation Manager of the University of Cuenca), and international resources from the EU or USA. To look for the possibilities of presenting projects and international collaborations in the USA or in the EU (Marie Curier, ERC, etc.)

-To support with the investigation and international collaboration for a techno-scientist development of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Cuenca and other universities in Ecuador.

Design and Methodology of Neurocinema Experiments:

Also, this investigation proposal looks for a behavior map description, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging that correlate Empathy in its interactive role within the addiction treatment. For this, and as we know the role of the shared experience and the mental representations of empathy that develops interest and confidence among the participants, anonymous groups like 12 Steps and specialized behavior technics will be used. In order to find the cerebral correlates, and innovative approximation denominated Neurocinema will be used as a stimulus during the EEG mapping. 


1)Stimulation:

The study of the human brain in real-life close conditions implies the use of methodologies that should imitate natural stimulus. For example: Audiovisual Communication through videos. The initial approximation is to develop an experiment based on the presentation of three videos to the participants with topics related with addiction recovery. 

The first stimuli will be a video about two recovery addicts sharing their collective and personal experiences based on an already proved methodology of a basic lined and numerated text, in which each participant shares an experience or phrase each time. 

Every collective experience shared is lined and numbered. Their sharings talk about the recognition of their addiction characteristics as well as the descriptions of their current experiences and behavior changes while practicing several specific suggestions to recover from the addiction. The participants share a phrase or a collective experiences in turns, they take notes about the experiences that they feel identified with, and finally they share again in turns the phrases or experiences with they feel more identified with. The action of sharing with the participants about the recognition of their addiction characteristics as well as the description of their current experiences in their behavior changes to recover from addiction while practicing specific suggestions. 

The second video will be a Hollywood movie about the consequences of addictions and recovery process. In this moment, there is a process of selection among several movies as Requiem of a Dream, Addict, etc. 

The third video will show a regular session of 12 Steps programs, in which their participants will share openly their experiences, one by one in turns, about their progress in their addiction recovery process. 


2) Sample:

The sample will include the same number of men and women in different age groups, who consider themselves as addicts to something or in some level. The sample will be finished only after the confirmation of an addiction existence. 

3) Tools and Techniques:

The research team will start with specific techniques, from the simple to the complex, based on the need of contrasting the results.

3.1.) Behavior Measurements: The technique that will be used and exposed here, besides the first video about two addicts reading and sharing about the admission and recognition of the addiction disease. They will experiment the situation and will be recorded in three stages: a) Initially with a questioner about the personal opinion of the participant in different addiction experiences. b) The participant will read in turns with another recovery addict interviewer about the collective experiences, and imaginary recovery addicts. They will take notes about the experiences and the imaginary addicts they feel more identified with. c) The participant and the interviewer will share about their personal identifications and empathy about the already read collective experience. 

3.2) EEG Mapping: The participant will be exposed to the three described videos and they will be video annotated to contrast the result of the signals and cerebral images with an approximated content of each moment of the video. This will be used as a stimulus to record the timing of the cerebral potentialities. For this, the Electroencephalogram noninvasive technique will be used. The temporal distributed cerebral potentialities will be analyzed to find a localized origin, ERP, frequency components, and prediction web.