Main Research Areas:
Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Body Representation
The body holds a complex representation in the brain, due to its unique role in sensory-motor experience.
Our lab is devoted to the study of the mechanisms underpinning more conscious aspects of body representation, such as being the owner of one's own body, actions and sensations, as well as more automatic and implicit processess such as action programming and stimulus monitoring in healthy and brain-damaged people.
The space surrounding our body, namely the peripersonal space, is the space of action, where body and extrapersonal objects interact for manipulation or avoidance purposes. We study the plastic features of this section of space, whose extension can change following sensory-motor experience. We are strongly interested in its peculiar properties of multisensory integration of body-related visual, acoustic and tactile stimuli.
Among the multiple sensory experience that we can have, pain is a very pervasive one. Multisensory integration and body representation have been proposed to be crucial for pain processing.
We are interested in how pain can be critically modulated by body representation and its manipulation with a range of possible interventions that go from visual distortion, to neurostimulation, hypnosis, biofeedback and meditation in helthy people, amputees and neurologically impaired individuals.