Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Ángeles Agüero Zapata
  • Email:


Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: UNIVERSIDAD DE JAÉN - Psychology Department (Psychobiology)
  • Address: Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071, Jaén
  • Province: Jaén

Research Area

  • Social Sciences and Humanities (SOC)
  • Life Sciences (LIF)

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Jaén (UJA) is an EHEA medium-sized Spanish public university (some 16000 students and almost 1000 lecturers) that was established in 1993 and is organized into 6 main Schools/Faculties (Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Human Sciences, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and two Schools of Engineering). In addition to its 124 research groups, the University of Jaén is proud of its 4 Advanced Research Centers (Earth Sciences, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Olive Oil Research and Development, and Computational Sciences) and of its Institute on Iberian Archaeology Research. Moreover, UJA is integrated into a university network recognized as Campus of International Excellence in the fields of Agrifood (CEIA3), Climate Change (CamBio) and Historical Heritage (PatrimoniUN10).

UJA permanently welcomes new foreign research proposals as part of a conscious effort to increase its international profile and widen both its knowledge and its horizons.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The research group Psychobiology (CTS283) forms part of Department of Psychology at the University of Jaén:

The primary scientific aim of the group Psychobiology is to understand the neurobiological basis of behavior. The University of Jaen (UJA) is a public university that offers graduate and postgraduate degrees in many different fields. It is a young university founded in 1993. This University is aware of its mission, which consists in providing a high quality education to its students.

The University of Jaén has a wide academic offer including more than 40 degrees in the areas of: Humanities and Education, Experimental Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, and Engineering. Such offer is structured in undergraduate and postgraduate studies (master and official doctorate). The University of Jaén has a total number of seven Faculties and Colleges which create a friendly learning atmosphere both for Spanish and international students. Moreover, the possibility of joining combined degrees is also offered.

The research Group (Psychobiology, CTS283) has a very complete laboratory for carrying out those research tasks covering the research lines (aversion learning; Psychobiology of emotions and addiction; stress and alcohol use, etc).

Project description:

Alcohol is probably the most consumed psychoactive drug in the world. Controlled drinking is common, but for many individuals alcohol consumption leads to addictive disorder. An important explicative factor for that fact could be the differential sensibility to the rewarding and aversive effects of alcohol that each person owns. Thus, the study of these effects is particularly important for understanding alcohol addiction.

Research in this field seems to point out that alcohol effects are determined by a set of inner factors (sex, alcohol intake history, etc.), as well as by environmental conditions surrounding the individual (i.e., stress) and, of course, the interactions between all these factors.

Our research project intends to be a first approach to this important and complex subject. We have ended the first phase of this project. This phase was directed to studying the aversive and the rewarding properties of alcohol, in neutral environmental conditions (i.e., without induced stress), taking into account variables as the sex of animals and the alcohol intake history of them. Once completed this phase, we will begin the study of the alcohol effects in stressful conditions. We will induce the state of anxious/stress pharmacologically using Yohimbine (YOH), which enhances anxiety in human beings as well as in animal models of anxiety.

As a whole, the experiments included in the project are expected to provide a set of data that help to understand: first, how the stress could affect the perception of the aversive and rewarding properties of alcohol; second, whether the ethanol intake depends on the previous experience with the aversive and rewarding properties of the drug and, especially, if the stress could modulate such a relation and in what direction.


CV, Motivation letter and Summary of project proposal (250 words) by 15th June 2018

I want to contact the Institution

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