Dario Galati

Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Piedmont, Italy

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Publications (14)16.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Emotions are complex events recruiting distributed cortical and subcortical cerebral structures, where the functional integration dynamics within the involved neural circuits in relation to the nature of the different emotions are still unknown. Using fMRI, we measured the neural responses elicited by films representing basic emotions (fear, disgust, sadness, happiness). The amygdala and the associative cortex were conjointly activated by all basic emotions. Furthermore, distinct arrays of cortical and subcortical brain regions were additionally activated by each emotion, with the exception of sadness. Such findings informed the definition of three effective connectivity models, testing for the functional integration of visual cortex and amygdala, as regions processing all emotions, with domain-specific regions, namely: i) for fear, the frontoparietal system involved in preparing adaptive motor responses; ii) for disgust, the somatosensory system, reflecting protective responses against contaminating stimuli; iii) for happiness: medial prefrontal and temporoparietal cortices involved in understanding joyful interactions. Consistently with these domain-specific models, the results of the effective connectivity analysis indicate that the amygdala is involved in distinct functional integration effects with cortical networks processing sensorimotor, somatosensory, or cognitive aspects of basic emotions. The resulting effective connectivity networks may serve to regulate motor and cognitive behavior based on the quality of the induced emotional experience.
    NeuroImage 08/2011; 59(2):1804-17. · 6.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study the authors used a cross-cultural approach to examine parental attitudes, attachment styles, social networks, and some of the psychological processes involved in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Fifty-two children (aged 4-11 years) took part in the study: 30 Italians (15 with ASD and 15 controls) and 22 Cubans (11 with ASD and 11 controls). Findings indicated significant differences between the two cultural groups in terms of the structure of the children's social network and parental attitudes toward their children. However, the mother-child attachment relationship and cognitive and emotional functioning of the study participants were independent of culture.
    The Journal of Genetic Psychology 01/2011; 172(4):353-75. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the subjective representation of the components of happiness and their attainment in older adults from two countries with different economic well-being and cultural orientations: Italy and Cuba. Two hundred and nine Italians and 186 Cubans completed a questionnaire. Respondents were asked to write down at least five components that made them feel happy. A measure of overall happiness was also obtained by asking the subjects to rate to what extent they had attained each component in their life and calculating their mean. The results showed that there was agreement amongst the participants over their choice of components used to represent happiness; however, there were cross-cultural differences regarding the frequency of citation and importance of these components. The fact of living in Italy or Cuba was not a predictor of overall happiness, despite the difference in national income. This is in line with previous research highlighting how subjective well-being does not depend wholly on economic well-being. KeywordsHappiness–Subjective well-being–Naïve concepts–Older adults–Cross-cultural differences
    Journal of Happiness Studies 01/2011; 12(3):353-371. · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Tommaso Costa, Dario Galati, Elena Rognoni
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the Hurst exponent of heart rate time series and its relation with the subjective measures of valence and arousal in two groups of subjects. The electrocardiogram (ECG) and the subjective valence and arousal were measured during the administration of emotional film stimuli (happiness, sadness, anger and fear). The results showed that there is a difference in the Hurst exponent for the happiness and sadness conditions but not between the negative emotion conditions (sadness, anger and fear). This seems to indicate that the Hurst exponent is an indicator of subjective valence.
    Autonomic neuroscience: basic & clinical 09/2009; 151(2):183-5. · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether adult attachment styles influence subjective and neurophysiological aspects of emotion. Self-reported emotional arousal and pleasantness and EEG frontal asymmetry were analysed while subjects watched emotional video-clips inducing happiness, fear and sadness with attachment-related content. Results showed a clear difference between attachment patterns on emotional arousal, resting frontal asymmetry and fluctuating asymmetry changes. Avoidant individuals responded to positive stimuli with less arousing subjective experience and right frontal asymmetry. In turn, preoccupied individuals showed higher arousal feelings and wider frontal left activation. Opposite patterns were observed in response to fear. These findings support the involvement of attachment in modelling individual emotional response and underlying brain functional processes, accounting partly for individual variability in human emotion.
    Personality and Individual Differences. 01/2008;
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    D. Galati, B. Sini, C. Tinti, S. Testa
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    ABSTRACT: This article represents the conclusion of a wide-ranging European project concerning the lexical structure of emotion in the neo-Latin languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and Romanian. Intended to bring to light common features in these languages, as well as any peculiarities, the research project selected representative samples of emotional terms from the dictionaries of the six languages studied and analysed the similarity between these words using Scaling procedures. The graphic outputs of the Scaling procedures appear to organize the neo-Latin emotion lexicons in respect of three major dimensions that are similar to those already found in other languages: `hedonic value', `potency' and `physiological activation'. Interesting peculiarities emerged in relation to the salience of the dimensions, mainly for Romanian and Portuguese.
    Social Science Information 01/2008; 47(2):205-220. · 0.60 Impact Factor
  • Igor Sotgiu, Dario Galati
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    ABSTRACT: The authors investigated how people remember real-life traumatic events. Adult residents (N = 145) of an Italian community that was flooded in fall of 2000 completed a questionnaire 3 years after the flood. Respondents briefly recounted their personal experiences with the flood and answered questions about emotional reactions to the flood, appraisal processes, and disaster exposure. Results showed that participants tended to recall experiences that occurred during the most critical phases of the disaster. The emotions most strongly experienced by respondents-sadness, fear, and surprise-were associated with specific appraisals. Content and amount of memories about flood experiences did not significantly vary as a function of flood exposure. Moreover, there was no significant relationship between memory quantity and emotional intensity. The authors discuss findings in the context of literature on traumatic memory and emotion.
    The Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied 02/2007; 141(1):91-108. · 0.86 Impact Factor
  • D. Galati, R. Miceli, M. Tamietto
    Social Science Information 01/2007; 46(2):355-376. · 0.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The short-term psychological reactions to the death of Pope John Paul II were investigated. Between 1 to 6 days after this event, 526 Catholic and atheist Italian adults took part in a questionnaire study. Participants were asked to report the personal circumstances in which they first learned about the Pope's death, their emotional reactions, and their appraisal of the event's importance and consequentiality. Other questions assessed immediate memory for the original event, surprise-expectedness, exposure to mass media, and religious involvement. Results showed that the news of the Pope's death, although widely expected, had a strong cognitive and emotional impact. Almost all the participants were able to recall the personal circumstances in which they heard the news. A positive relation was observed between the degree of religious involvement and appraisal of importance and consequentiality, intensity of emotion, memory for event-related details, and frequency of exposure to mass media. Effects related to the age of the participants were also found.
    Social Behavior and Personality An International Journal 12/2006; 35(3):417-428. · 0.31 Impact Factor
  • Dario Galati, Mayra Manzano, Igor Sotgiu
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to identify the subjective components of happiness and to analyze their degree of attainment in two countries, Italy and Cuba, characterized by very different cultural and socio-economic structures. Two hundred and sixty-five subjects participated in a questionnaire study: 133 from Italy and 132 from Cuba. Respondents were asked to think of happiness and to write down at least 5 components that made them feel happy. A measure of overall happiness was also obtained by asking subjects to rate to what extent they had attained each component in their life. The analysis of responses provided by the two samples yielded the identification of 21 cross-culturally shared happiness components, which referred to individual interests, relational interests and values. The most relevant components in each group were health, family, love and money. Italian and Cuban subjects differed in the frequency of citation of some happiness components (e.g. money, work, partner) and in the degree of attainment of them. Overall, Cubans perceived themselves as happier than Italians. Findings are discussed in relation to the socio-economic and cultural characteristics of the Italian and Cuban contexts.
    Social Science Information 12/2006; 45(4):601-630. · 0.60 Impact Factor
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    Tommaso Costa, Elena Rognoni, Dario Galati
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study the patterns of interdependency between different brain regions were investigated as volunteers looked at emotional and non-emotional film stimuli. The main goal was to evaluate the emotion-related differences and to check their consistency during the elaboration of the same type of stimuli in repeated presentations. A measure called synchronization index (SI) was used to detect interdependencies in EEG signals. The hypotheses were that emotional-information processing could involve variation in synchronized activity and that two valence-specific emotions - happiness and sadness - differ from each other. The SI obtained was compared among the various experimental conditions and significant changes were found. The results demonstrated an overall increase of SI during emotional stimulation and, in particular, during sadness, which yielded a pattern involving a large exchange of information among frontal channels. On the other hand, happiness was associated with a wider synchronization among frontal and occipital sites, although happiness itself was less synchronized. We conclude that the SI can be successfully applied for studying the dynamic cooperation between cortical areas during emotion responses.
    Neuroscience Letters 11/2006; 406(3):159-64. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to students belonging to three different cultural contexts -Italy, Spain and Cuba - to determine what emotional experiences characterize their emotional life and which antecedents generate them. Overall results suggest that cultural context has no decisive influence on how the different emotions are experienced and on their principal components. On the contrary, culture influences the frequency at which the different typologies of emotions occur and are experienced. In fact, positive emotions are reported more frequently by Cuban compared to Italian and Spanish participants. Some minor differences emerged between the three countries regarding antecedents, intensity and duration of emotional experience and some emotional reactions.
    PSYCHOLOGIA 01/2005; 48(4):268-287. · 0.09 Impact Factor
  • D. Galati
    Psychology &amp Developing Societies 01/2004; 16(2):139-157.
  • Galati D, Sini S, Schmidt S, Tinti C
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    ABSTRACT: Emotional facial expressions of 10 congenitally blind and 10 sighted children, aged between 8 and 11, were compared. Facial movements were filmed in seven daily life emotional situations and then coded by an objective coding system (Facial Action Coding System--FACS). Facial expressions of blind and sighted children were rather similar. Interestingly, complete expression patterns of basic emotions were relatively rare in both groups, with the exception of joy. Despite the similarities between the two groups, some differences also emerged. The frequency of certain facial movements is higher in the blind than in the sighted children. Social influences are evident only in the expressions of sighted children who often hide negative emotions (anger and fear). Overall, results suggest that there are no substantial differences of facial expression of emotions between the two groups, even if the facial movements of blind children are less influenced by cultural rules. Theoretical and practical implications of these results will be discussed.
    Journal of visual impairment & blindness 01/2003; 97(7):418-428. · 0.68 Impact Factor