Dr. Alan Pegna Neuroscience Lecture

DBA 2016

As a part of its Annual Lecture Series, Webster Geneva's Psychology and Counseling Department organized a lecture on Neuroscience entitled “Sensing emotions unconsciously: do we have a sixth sense?” on Thursday, November 25. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Alan Pegna, who is an eminent neuropsychologist and the Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Neuropsychology at Geneva University Hospital.

The 54 attendees--professionals and students--who came to listen to Dr. Alan Pegna were certainly not disappointed as they received a plethora of information on the visual processing of emotional stimuli. In his presentation, Dr. Pegna summarized a long-standing research on visual awareness and the processing of emotional stimuli. In addition, Dr. Pegna presented a series of studies carried out on both healthy and brain-damaged subjects that demonstrate the unconscious visual processing of emotional faces. The two neurological case studies presented by Dr. Pegna illustrated that emotional processing is automatic and it can take place irrespective of the focus of attention. Dr. Pegna finished his presentation by emphasizing the practical implications of the findings supporting the notion of automaticity in emotional processing.

The collaboration between Dr. Pegna and Webster Geneva Campus extends beyond this lecture. He is collaborating with Dr. Loredana Mihalca, Assistant Professor at Webster University Geneva, on a research project entitled “The neural basis of metacognition.” Furthermore, Dr. Pegna will teach the course PSYC 3000 - Topics in Psychology: Cerebral Basis of Emotional and Cognitive Behavior next Summer Term (2017) within the learning theme, The Behavioral Brain.