The Brain-Body Center for Psychophysiology and Bioengineering (BBCPB)
UNC Hospitals – Chapel Hill
Education and Training:
BS, Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela
Certificate, Operations Management, Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion, Venezuela
PhD, Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Davila is a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her expertise is in developing new software and hardware tools to quantify physiological outputs and explain complex processes including cognitive, developmental, and psychological changes. Her efforts are directed towards understanding the regulation of the autonomic nervous system from the Polyvagal Theory perspective. To accomplish this, she designs and tests novel sensors and algorithms that quantify neural regulation of peripheral physiological processes. The final goal is to facilitate the identification of a variety of mental health conditions and evaluation of targeted interventions, using minimal invasive sensors. Dr. Davila oversees the development of data collection protocols and software to support the extraction of time-synchronized segments of different collected physiological signals. She also develops analysis tools to integrate sensor data from multiple platforms. She has considerable experience running complex physiological research protocols. In the recent past, she has been developing remote sensing technology to measure cardiac information without direct contact with the subject. Dr. Davila’s research areas include heart rate variability, autonomic neurophysiology, and neural control of vocalization mechanisms. Her work in developing the noncontact heart rate monitor has led to a patent filing by her host Universities of Illinois and North Carolina.