Department of Excellence

PsyFuture: a research ecosystem for the life of the future | 2023-2027

The Department of Psychology has been awarded for the research project PsyFuture, submitted in the framework of the call for proposals "Departments of Excellence 2023-2027" issued by the Ministry of Universities and Research (MUR). The new project aims to create a RESEARCH ECOSYSTEM, unique in Italy, in which experimental control and ecological validity intersect at different, complementary levels for the study of human behaviour and its social dimension in real and digital contexts.

PsyFuture foresees three main lines of action: 1) Enhancement of the Department's existing infrastructure to support FairData-OpenScience practices and accelerate research on the behavioural and psychophysiological correlates of real and virtual interpersonal relationships; 2) the creation of a laboratory (BiHOME) consisting of a large multifunctional space for the study of behaviour and relationships between individuals in realistic environments with a strong sense of presence; 3) the development of a digital platform (BiConnect) for the creation of detailed and controllable virtual 'social' environments in which multi-user interaction between participants located within and outside the university can be studied.

At the heart of virtual reality | 2018-2022

At the heart of virtual reality | 2018-2022
The Department of Psychology's project is based on the following pillars: the construction of two innovative research infrastructures, the recruitment of highly qualified staff and the launch of teaching activities aimed at creating an innovative and qualifying professional profile that combines theoretical, methodological and technological skills. The end point is a centre of excellence for the development and application of psychological knowledge, with an emphasis on the innovative use of advanced technologies, such as virtual reality, and the transfer of knowledge and its consequent impact on the socio-economic context.

The two research infrastructures are the Mind and Behaviour Technological Centre (MiBTec) and the Bicocca Centre for Applied Psychology (Bi.CApP).

MiBTec consists of a space with several laboratories that will allow the development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) paradigms at different levels of complexity (from wearable visors to fully immersive virtual reality environments) and the study of human behaviour in environments that simulate real-life contexts but can be modified in a controlled manner.

Bi.CApP aims to advance psychological, neuroscientific and psycholinguistic knowledge on different aspects of human behaviour, such as decision-making, healthy choices, healthy ageing, consumer behaviour and attitudes towards ecological issues, and to facilitate their transfer and application.

In terms of human resources, the recruitment of two professors, four researchers, two laboratory technicians, one administrative technician and the establishment of 10 two-year research fellowships are planned.

Twenty doctoral scholarships, 12 fellowships, two summer schools and a fund for visiting scientists will also be financed.