HEI: What’s new?

Always on the move!
HEI-lab’s new reshape.

New action lines:

Line 1: Basic processes

HEI-Lab meeting

This line aims at studying basic processes that contribute to the formulation of knowledge within the scope of developing digital processes, products and services (PPS), and setting a new agenda. Line 1 has a special focus on the attentional and emotional processing of relevant environmental stimuli, and further including visual perception and memory, as applied to the context of social, clinical and forensic psychology.

This research line includes studies using experimental paradigms based on digital techniques, and both peripheral (EDA, EMG, ECG) and central (EEG, ERP) psychophysiology measurements, as well as behavior measurements (eye tracking).

Studies focus on the cognitive and emotional processing of hedonic stimuli, namely, biologically relevant stimuli (e.g., phobic stimuli), sexual stimuli (including sexual violent stimuli), technostress stimuli, or social threatening stimuli.

Line 1.1 – Cognitive and emotional processing in diverse contexts

Line 2: Applied research

This research line aims at studying human behavior in different environments (health, organizations, forensic and environment contexts) and life stages, through intervention programs that use digital PPS to promote ecological validity and therapeutic effectiveness.

Intervention programs will target specific needs – in the health and forensic context – and are mostly framed within the CBT approach. Within this regard, we highlight intervention programs on depression, anxiety, dementia, family processes, as well as psychological intervention with victims and offenders.

Line 2.1 – Human behavior and its contexts

Line 2.2 – Assessment and intervention


HEI-Lab online intervention prototype

Line 3: Human-technology interaction research

This is a transversal line, aimed at examining human-technology interaction, assisting Line 1 and Line 2. This research line incorporates the contribution of videogame, as a complementary approach, aimed at exploring human-technology interaction challenges and providing optimal solutions for psychological assessment and intervention needs. It is intended that the knowledge about human-technology interaction, in the perspective of the evaluation and understanding of the relationship between the digital world and human behavior, will contribute to solutions and tools more appropriate to the needs of evaluation and intervention.

Line 3.1 – Game Design Fictions in different contexts

Line 3.2 – Game Feel Models and Human Perception

HEI-Lab HTI study

CCIEC – Centro de Competências para a Inovação em Educação e Cidadania

Parallel to these actions, and with the focus of knowledge/technology transfer (through Models, Processes and Tools) we created, along with ULHT’s CEid – research centre of the ULHT School of Education, the CCIEC: Centro de Competências em Inovação para a Educação e Cidadania.


SHAFE: Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments: SHAFE is coordinated by Cáritas Coimbra and AFEdemy, in close cooperation with main partners, such as the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA), European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), Reference Sites Collaborative Network, European Covenant on Demographic Change, Eurocities, Utrecht University (as former partner of the European Framework for Age-Friendly Housing), European Centre Social Welfare Policy, European Health Telematics Association (EHTEL) and ECHAlliance.

Porto4Ageing network. This consortium brings together more than 90 organizations, most of them established within the Porto Metropolitan Area, in the Northern Region of Portugal: https://www.porto4ageing.up.pt

R3iAP – Public Art Information, Research and Intervention Network: Research network committed to academic research, monitoring and provision of services on all aspects related to the promotion, study, conservation, preservation and restoration of public art in Portugal and in Portuguese-speaking countries or communities, provided that it is mandated for this purpose by official and / or scientific institutions of their countries and communities. The proponent institution is UCP-CITAR (Catholic University of Porto) and the partners of this network are, by cities, Porto: UCP-CITAR; FAUP-CEAU; FBAUP- i2ADS; Lisbon: FBAUL-CIEBA; FCSH-IHA; VICARTE-FBAUL / FCT; ULHT-HEI-LAB; Évora: UE-HERCULES; Covilhã: UBI-CIES; Caldas da Rainha: MJM

LinQBio is a new, fast-growing Global HealthTech Network community created to address the current needs for virtual networking (https://linqbio.com/). LinQBio is a global HealthTech networked community, connecting start-ups, entrepreneurs, corporate, investors, incubators, service providers, physicians and scientists.


HEI-Lab researcher Joana Carvalho’s R&D project “FEMOFFENCE – The myth of innocence: A mixed methods approach toward the understanding of female sexual offending behavior was funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation with € 127.993,70.

HEI-Lab researcher Pedro Gamito’s R&D project “AUTOMOTIVE: AUTOmatic multiMOdal drowsiness detecTIon for smart VEhicles” (AAC nº 02SAICT2017) was funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation. The consortium is led by INESC TEC, with the participation of HEI-Lab, ISEL and CARDIOID, having been funded with 238.786,63€.

Pedro Gamito and Jorge Oliveira also participate in the MarNoruega/0002/2016 –  Changing uses and values of marine ecosystem services in the Norwegian Arctic project, funded with 150.000€.

In collaboration with Centro Social Paroquial do Campo Grande, we won the second prize of BPI Seniores (https://www.bancobpi.pt/responsabilidade-social/solidariedade/premio-bpi-seniores) for the project ‘Combater a demência com Realidade Virtual’, with a value of 32.000€.

iDEAL: immersive VR as a tool to help individuals with autism deal with change. HEI-Lab wins Erasmus+ grant to design, test and publish an innovative immersive VR technology/game as a tool to help individuals with ASD to acquire and develop the skills and key competences to deal with change in their daily life and routine. Total grant: 209.742€.

ALERRT: Autism on the line! Educating first Responders on how to recognise and treat individuals with autism. Hei Lab wins Erasmus+ grant to design, test and publish a innovative immersive VR technology/gam as a tool to help first responders on how to recognise and treat indivduals with ASD in emergency situations. Total grant: 237.155€.

Escola de Verão: Cognição e Videojogos para a Pandemia – CVP20. Total grant: 26 126 €.

BENDIt-EU: Burnout education, normatives and digital tools for European Universities (2020-1-RO01-KA203-080261). The aim of our project is to prepare a comprehensive set of resources that will address the issue of burnout in health and health allied
universities at three distinct levels: organizational, collective and individual, including all stakeholders. Total grant: 221.290€.

CB4PARENTS: Training of Parents in the Fight Against Cyberbullying (2020-KA204-0D271A42). It aims at improving the education methods of parents.This project will serve at the same time to disseminate the fight against cyberbullying across Europe. The target group of the project is the parents who are living EU. Total grant: 256.943€.

Digital Tool For Mentorship Against Dropout. (2020-KA201-48CBD814). DIGI-TOOL MENTORS is a project to tackle with dropout among students between 14-19 years at High Schools in partner countries using technological and educational changes. Total grant: 160.845€.

D’AR-TE: prevenção de situações de (re)incidência da agressão em jovens. Atendendo às especificidades da intervenção cognitiva com jovens, pretende-se a criação de um programa imersivo em realidade virtual, tendo por base a realização de atividades cognitivas que permitam envolver as funções cognitivas mais relevantes em apreço neste projeto, com tarefas baseadas em atividades do dia-a-dia que sejam lúdicas e, simultaneamente, representativas da vida real desta faixa etária. Total grant: 39.900€.

VRmnesis: training anamnesis in a VR setting. VRmnesis aims at producing an educative and clinical outlet to train junior psychologists conducting clinical interviews, more specifically anamnesis procedures. Total grant: 14.963,12€.


Ágata Salvador was awarded FAZER+ ‘Boas Práticas de Investigação no Ensino’ with the project The Hei-Lab Studio – Experiential Museum of Psychology. This project, aiming to adapt classic experiences of Psychology to the digital context, supports the active involvement of Psychology students in research activities, promoting their close relation and collaboration with the research center of their school and encouraging collaborative work with other fields (Videogames and Design).

Micaela Fonseca, an integrated member of Hei-Lab, was awarded the Santander/NOVA Collaborative Research Award for the Com@Rehab of which she is principal investigator. The multidisciplinary project fosters synergies in areas such as Linguistics, Technology and Medicine and has as main objective the development of the Digital Communication Module (MCD Rehab) of an interactive rehabilitation solution in Virtual Reality.  “We intend to focus on the development of the communicative skills of the various actors involved, while strengthening technological literacy and interactivity with technology, thus helping to improve human-man and man-machine interaction, as well as we intend to support the management of therapeutic activities aimed at post-COVID patients, thus making the program more effective and efficient”. (Source: https://www.fct.unl.pt/noticias/2020/09/projeto-comrehab-e-um-dos-vencedores-do-premio-investigacao-colaborativa-santandernova)

HEI-Lab Director, Pedro Gamito, was awarded with the Life Achievement Award at the  23rd Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference. “This award has a tradition of honoring a person who has demonstrated outstanding lifetime achievements in the fields of advanced technologies and healthcare. It is the highest honor given by our community.”  (Source: http://interactivemediainstitute.com/cypsy23/awards-honors/)


No dia 9 de Outubro a partir da 13h00, na sala de Cinema Fernando Lopes, a Escola de Verão: Cognição e Videojogos para a Pandemia 2020 – CVP’20 do centro de investigação HEI-Lab, em colaboração com as Escolas de Comunicação, Arquitetura, Artes e Tecnologias da Informação e da Escola de Psicologia e Ciências da Vida têm o prazer de apresentar o seguinte ciclo de palestras:

13h00-14h00 – Title: HERA: Our Role as Planetary Guardians. Prof. Pedro Serra | ULHT

14h00-15h00 – Title: Behavioral Biomarkers for Psychiatric Disorders using VR. Prof. Mariano Alcañiz Raya, Universitat Politècnica de València | UPV · Institute for Research and Innovation in Bioengineering (i3B)

15h00-17h00 -Título: Viver do desenvolvimento de videojogos em Portugal. Prof Nélio Códices | ULHT


A participação nas palestras é gratuita, mas o registo é obrigatório através do link do formulário: https://forms.gle/ZbwYMTSoZawuJbA69

Os participantes registados receberão um e-mail de confirmação com o link para ingressar na palestra antes do evento.