Research Interests

Neurophysiology of the posterior parietal cortex during goal-directed behaviors


In this research topic, we perform extracellular recordings from the posterior parietal cortex of the macaque. We are interested in understanding whether neurons of some areas of the dorsal visual stream receive visual and/or somatosensory information, and whether they are involved in different visuomotor tasks. The main aims of the research is to understand the functional role of areas of posterior parietal cortex in visuomotor behavior and to employ decoding methods for future developing of brain-machine interfaces to control neuroprosthetic devices directly from brain activity.  

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Anatomy of the neural circuits involved in goal-directed behaviors


In this research topic, we study the anatomical connections and architectural organization of occipital and parietal areas in the monkey brain. We make injections of neuronal tracers to recognize cortical connections, and cyto- mielo- and immuno-architectonic techniques are used for architectural studies. Starting with microscopic observation of histological sections, we obtain 2D and 3D digital reconstructions of the brains where we visualize data.

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Human Psychophysics of perception and action in sensorimotor tasks


This research topic focuses on the interaction between perception and action to construct models that investigate the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor integration responsible for interact with our social and physical environment. A broad research area investigates how the brain uses extracted information from environment to select and guide the actions adaptively. Although this is a brain function extremely efficient, the questions addressed by our work consider that relation between perception and action is not one-sided but bi-directional.

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Human neurophysiology of goal-directed behaviors


In this research topic, we mapped the human homologue of macaque areas of the medial posterior parietal cortex using high-field functional magnetic resonance imaging, cortical surface-based analysis, and wide-field retinotopic stimulation. In parallel, we investigated the causal role of different cortical regions of the human parieto-frontal network during the planning and execution of reach-to-grasp tasks. In particular, we applied Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to healthy humans, in order to establish the direct relationship between neural signal and measurable movement parameters.

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