Il LAPCO (Laboratorio di Azione, Percezione, Cognizione) è stato il primo laboratorio dell’Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele ed è attualmente la principale infrastruttura di ricerca in psicologia sperimentale e psicofisiologia della Facoltà di Psicologia. L’attività di ricerca riguarda la percezione visiva, l’attenzione visuospaziale, i movimenti oculari, le interfacce visive e aptiche.

Staff and coworkers
Claudio de’Sperati
Gabriel Baud-Bovy
Sofia Crespi
Regina Gregori-Grgic

Il LAPCO (Laboratorio di Azione, Percezione, Cognizione)
via Olgettina, 58, 20132 Milano, Italy
Tel: +39 02 26434859, Fax: +39 02 26434892

 

E-mail: desperati.claudio@unisr.it

Skype: cla_mi

Claudio de’Sperati, Group Leader

desperati.claudio@hsr.it

The Unit investigates the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of sensori-motor functions, particularly the visual and tactile systems.

The research activity relies on a variety of approaches: psychophysiological (based on physiological and electroencephalographic responses), psychophysical (based on the measure of sensations), behavioral (based on the measure of motor activity), neuroimaging (based on fMRI techniques) and phenomenological (based on subjective experience). Basic research, which is the main mission of the Experimental Psychology Unit, is regarded also as a starting point to develop technologies and advanced quantitative methods for clinical diagnosis in psychology, neurology, neuroradiology, neuro-ophtalmology and psychiatry.
The Unit is based on the Laboratory of Action, Perception and Cognition (Lapco).

Curriculum vitae

The Unit investigates the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of sensori-motor functions, particularly the visual and tactile systems.
The research activity relies on a variety of approaches: psychophysiological (based on physiological and electroencephalographic responses), psychophysical (based on the measure of sensations), behavioral (based on the measure of motor activity), neuroimaging (based on fMRI techniques) and phenomenological (based on subjective experience). Basic research, which is the main mission of the Experimental Psychology Unit, is regarded also as a starting point to develop technologies and advanced quantitative methods for clinical diagnosis in psychology, neurology, neuroradiology, neuro-ophtalmology and psychiatry.
The Unit is based on the Laboratory of Action, Perception and Cognition (Lapco).

Curriculum vitae

Education

1994 NATO Summer School Multisensory control of movement, SISSA, Trieste, Italy
1989-1992 PhD in Neurological Sciences, Università di Torino, Italy
1989 Course Neural networks and pattern recognition, IRST, Trento, Italy
1980-1985 MSc, Biological Sciences, Università di Torino, Italy
1976-1980 High-school diploma, Liceo classico, Turin, Italy

Research appointments

1996-today Laboratory of Action, Perception, Cognition, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy (UniSR)
2010-2011 Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition, CNRS, Grenoble, France
2004-2005 Department of Psychology, LMU, Munich, Germany
1985-1995 Department of Neurosciences, Università di Torino, Italy

Academic positions

2000-today Associate Professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR, Italy
2010-2011 Visiting professorship, University P. Mendès, Grenoble, France
2005-2006 “Mercator” professorship, LMU, Munich, Germany
2004-2005 Visiting scientist, Dept. of Psychology, Munich, Germany
1996-1999 Adjunct professor, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR

Teaching

2006-2015 “Methods in experimental psychology”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR
2006-2015 “Psychobiology of consciousness”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR
2003-2011 “Methods in psychophysiology”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR
2009-2011 “Psychology of perception”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR
2011 “Neurophenomenology”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR
2006 “Mind and brain”, Neuro-Cognitive Psychology Program, LMU, Munich, Germany
2000-2006 “Neurophysiology”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR
2003 “Basic statistics”, PhD program in Neurosciences, University of Turin, Italy
1996-2003 “Research methods and data analysis”, Faculty of Psychology, UniSR

Referee activity

Journals
Experimental Brain Research, Cognition, Cognitive Brain Research, Memory and Cognition, Psychological Research-Psychologische Forschung, Vision Research, Spatial Vision, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuropsychology, Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Cortex, Journal of Vision, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, PLoS One, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Psychological Reports, Phenomenology and Mind, Memory and Cognition, Acta Psychologica, Journal of Eye Movements Research.

Institutions/Agencies/Organizations
Telethon Italy; Ministère de la Recherche, France; FP6 (FET Actions, “Bio-Inspired Intelligent Information Systems”); The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development; FP7 (FET-Proactive, “Brain-Inspired Information and Communication Technology”); Italian Ministry of University (Prin and Firb programs); WorldHaptics; ETRA; Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France; DAAD, Germany.

Lab members

The Unit investigates the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of sensori-motor functions, particularly the visual and tactile systems.
The research activity relies on a variety of approaches: psychophysiological (based on physiological and electroencephalographic responses), psychophysical (based on the measure of sensations), behavioral (based on the measure of motor activity), neuroimaging (based on fMRI techniques) and phenomenological (based on subjective experience). Basic research, which is the main mission of the Experimental Psychology Unit, is regarded also as a starting point to develop technologies and advanced quantitative methods for clinical diagnosis in psychology, neurology, neuroradiology, neuro-ophtalmology and psychiatry.
The Unit is based on the Laboratory of Action, Perception and Cognition (Lapco).

Lab members

Experimental psychology
Claudio de’Sperati Group Leader
Gabriel Baud-Bovy University researcher
Sofia Crespi University researcher
Enrico Giora University researcher
Regina Gregori-Grgîc PhD Student

Research

The Unit investigates the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of sensori-motor functions, particularly the visual and tactile systems.
The research activity relies on a variety of approaches: psychophysiological (based on physiological and electroencephalographic responses), psychophysical (based on the measure of sensations), behavioral (based on the measure of motor activity), neuroimaging (based on fMRI techniques) and phenomenological (based on subjective experience). Basic research, which is the main mission of the Experimental Psychology Unit, is regarded also as a starting point to develop technologies and advanced quantitative methods for clinical diagnosis in psychology, neurology, neuroradiology, neuro-ophtalmology and psychiatry.
The Unit is based on the Laboratory of Action, Perception and Cognition (Lapco).

Research activities (updated 2017)

  • Visual perception and visual cognition
    • Basic vision (textures) and visual illusions
    • Motion perception
    • The perception of temporal flow
    • Visual self-agency and self-awareness
    • History of psychology of perception
  • Eye movements and attention
    • Real-time attention tracking
    • Oculomotor and attentional correlates of mental imagery
    • Exploratory behavior and cognitive strategies with graphical interfaces (usability, accessibility, e-learning, Human-Computer Interaction)
    • Oculomotor patterns in pathologies of the visual system
  • Haptic sense and manipulation activity
    • Fine motor skills and manual dexterity
    • Analysis of grasps and prehension strategies
    • Force and movement perception, kinaesthesia
    • Space perception (in absence of vision)
  • Cortical visual processing
    • Dynamic cortical visual responsiveness as assessed through SSVEPs
    • Cortical Plasticity in patients affected by retinal diseases (fMRI and DTI)
    • Development of the visual system in infants (fMRI and DTI)
  • Sensori-motor interactions
    • Pupillometry in ALS patients
    • Pathologies of the cortico-spinal tract and its endings (DTI)
    • Sensory-motor development
    • Technologies for sensory-motor assessment
    • Motor theories of perception

Research projects

Assistive technology

Detecting “voluntary” pupil responses in locked-in ALS patients (Roatta et al, in preparation)

 

 

 

Re-playing reality: our poor sense of video speed

A “right” speed for natural events? (de’Sperati, under review; Rossi et al, in preparation; Zuliani et al, in preparation)

 


 

A dissociation between perception, imagery and action in a demanding visuo-motor interaction task

Low contrast reduces both perceived and imagined speed, but does not impair performance in a fast, videogame-like interactive task (de’Sperati & Thornton, in preparation)

 


 

Gaze agency

Gaze agency: a novel construct to appraise self-awareness in OCD and schizophrenic patients (Gregori-Grgič et al, 2016, Giuliani et al, in preparation)

 


 

Vision-for-perception and vision-for-action

Both vision-for-perception and vision-for-action follow Weber’s law with small objects (Bruno et al 2016)

 


 

Recording mental movements by means of Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials

Covert enaction at work: recording the continuous movements of visuospatial attention to visible or imagined targets by means of Steady-State

Visual Evoked Potentials (Gregori-Grgič et al, 2016, Gregori-Grcič & de’Sperati 2016)

 


 

Dyscalculia remediation by action video games

Training attention but not eye movements (Gori et al, in preparation)

 


 

The expert’s eye

The hidden signature of billiard expertise (Crespi

et al 2012; Robino et al 2012; Boccignone et al 2014)

 

 


 

Perceptual awareness lags rapid decisions

Motion discrimination doesn’t wait sluggish perceptual awareness (Gregori-Grgič

, Balderi & de’Sperati, 2010; Gregori-Grgič & de’Sperati 2013)

 


 

The flash-lag effect

The flash-lag is determined by both a forward mislocalization of the moving stimulus and a (smaller) forward mislocalization of the flash (Shi & de’Sperati, 2008). Also, the flash lag increases when the moving stimulus is actively controlled by the observer (Scocchia et al 2009)


 

Cognitive suppression

Motion imagery is transiently interrupted by task-irrelevant saccadic eye movements or attention shifts (Jonikaitis, Deubel & de’Sperati 2008 )

 


 

Action-Perception dissociations

Blind saccades: As latency increases, saccades become progressively influenced by a motion-induced localization illusion (de’Sperati & Baud-Bovy, 2008).

(paper quoted by Faculty-of-1000, ‘Must read’)


Head movements and visuo-spatial attention

 

Head movements cause a transient unbalance of visuo-spatial attention (Cicchini,Valsecchi & de’Sperati 2008)


Dynamic imagery and visuo-spatial attention

Imagined motion is associated to movements of visuo-spatial attention (de’Sperati and Deubel, 2006)


 

Smooth pursuit eye movements with an imaginary target

During motion imagery, sustained smooth pursuit eye movements can be generated surprisingly well, provided we are drowsy (de’Sperati and Santandrea, 2005).


 

Eye movements and visuo-spatial thinking

Sequences of spontaneous saccades reveal the instantaneous spatio-temporal evolution of mental rotation and motion imagery (de’Sperati, 1999, 2003a, 2003b).


 

Motor imagery

We use motor imagery to solve visual tasks involving the motion of manipulable objects (de’Sperati and Stucchi, 1997, 2000)


 

The two-thirds power law

Velocity and curvature of several movements covary in a way described by the two/thirds power law. This holds also for smooth pursuit eye movement (de’Sperati and Stucchi, 1995; de’Sperati and Viviani, 1997).

Publications

The Unit investigates the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of sensori-motor functions, particularly the visual and tactile systems.
The research activity relies on a variety of approaches: psychophysiological (based on physiological and electroencephalographic responses), psychophysical (based on the measure of sensations), behavioral (based on the measure of motor activity), neuroimaging (based on fMRI techniques) and phenomenological (based on subjective experience). Basic research, which is the main mission of the Experimental Psychology Unit, is regarded also as a starting point to develop technologies and advanced quantitative methods for clinical diagnosis in psychology, neurology, neuroradiology, neuro-ophtalmology and psychiatry.
The Unit is based on the Laboratory of Action, Perception and Cognition (Lapco).

Selected publications (updated 2017)

Gregori Grgič R, Calore E, de’Sperati C. Covert enaction at work: Recording the continuous movements of visuospatial attention to visible or imagined targets by means of Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials (SSVEPs). Cortex. 2016. 74:31-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.10.008.

Gregori Grgič R, Crespi SA, de’Sperati C. Assessing Self-Awareness through Gaze Agency. PLoS One. 2016. 11(11):e0164682. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164682.

Bruno N, Uccelli S, Viviani E, de’Sperati C. Both vision-for-perception and vision-for-action follow Weber’s law at small object sizes, but violate it at larger sizes. Neuropsychologia. 2016. 91:327-334. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia. 2016.08.022.

Canessa N, Crespi C, Baud-Bovy G, Dodich A, Falini A, Antonellis G, Cappa S. Neural markers of loss aversion in resting-state brain activity. Neuroimage. 2016. 146:257-265. doi:0.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.11.050.

Galbiati A, Abutalebi J, Iannaccone S, Borsa VM, Musteata S, Zucconi M, Giora E, Ferini-Strambi L. The effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Idiopathic Hypersomnia: a pilot study. Arch Ital Biol. 2016. 154(1):1-5. doi: 10.12871/00039829201611.

Gregori Grgič R, Calore E, de’Sperati C. Covert enaction at work: Recording the continuous movements of visuospatial attention to visible or imagined targets by means of Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials (SSVEPs). Cortex. 2016. 74:31-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.10.008.

Gregori Grgič R, Crespi SA, de’Sperati C. Assessing Self-Awareness through Gaze Agency. PLoS One. 2016. 11(11):e0164682. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164682.

Gregori Grgič R, de’Sperati C. Covert Attention Tracking: Towards Two-Dimensional Real-Time Recordings. Journal of Eye Movement Research. 2016. Vol 9, No 6, 1-11. Doi: 10.16910/jemr.9.6.3.

Pirovano M, Mainetti R, Baud-Bovy G, Lanzi PL, Borghese AN. IGER – Intelligent Game Engine for Rehabilitation. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (T-CIAIG). 2016. 8(1):43-55. 10.1109/TCIAIG.2014.2368392.

van Beek FE, Bergmann Tiest WM, Kappers AML, Baud-Bovy G. Integrating force and position: testing model predictions. Experimental Brain Research. 2016. 234(11):3367–3379. doi:10.1007/s00221-016-4734-1

Vastano R, Inuggi A, Vargas C, Baud Bovy G, Jacono M, Pozzo T. Tactile perception during action observation. Experimental Brain Research. 2016. 234(9):2585-2594. doi:10.1007/ s00221-016-4663-z.

Gori S, Giora E, Stubbs DA. The Breathing Light Illusion: illusory size and brightness variation induced by motion. In Shapiro A e Todorović D (Eds.), Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions. Oxford University Press.

Biagi L, Crespi SA, Tosetti M, Morrone MC. BOLD Response Selective to Flow-Motion in Very Young Infants. PLoS Biol. 2015 Sep 29; 13(9).

Baud-Bovy G, Tatti F, Borghese AN. Ability of a Low-Cost Force-Feedback Device to Influence Postural Stability. IEEE Transaction on Haptics (ToH). 2014. 8(2):130-139.

Gurari N, Baud-Bovy G. Customization, Control, and Characterization of a Commercial Haptic Device for High-Fidelity Rendering of Weak Forces. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2014. Vol. 235, pp. 169-180.

Santello M, Baud-Bovy G, Jörntell H. Neural bases of hand synergies. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 2013. 7:23.

Baud-Bovy G, Gentaz E. The perception and representation of orientations: a study in the haptic modality. Acta Psychologica. 2012. 141(1):24-30.

Crespi S, Robino C, Silva O, de’Sperati C. Spotting expertise in the eyes: billiards knowledge as revealed by gaze shifts in a dynamic visual prediction task. Journal of Vision. 2012. Vol. 12, p. 1-19.

Vezzani S, Marino BF, Giora E. An early history of the Gestalt factors of organisation. Perception. 2012. Vol. 41, p. 148-167.

Gori S, Giora E, Yazdanbakhsh A, Mingolla E. A new motion illusion based on competition between two kinds of motion processing units: the Accordion-Grating. Neural Networks. 2011. Vol. 24, p. 1082-1092.

Crespi S, Biagi L, d’Avossa G, Burr DC, Tosetti M, Morrone MC. Spatiotopic coding of BOLD signal in human visual cortex depends on spatial attention. PLoS ONE. 2011. 6 (7).

Gregori-Grgiĉ R, Balderi M, de’Sperati C. Delayed perceptual awareness in rapid perceptual decisions. PLoS ONE. 2011. Vol. 6, pp. 1-10.

Giora E, Gori S. The perceptual expansion of a filled area depends on textural characteristics. Vision Research. 2010. Vol. 50, p. 2466-2475.

Sarlegna, F, Baud-Bovy, G, Danion, F. Delayed visual feedback affects both manual tracking and grip force control when transporting a hand-held object. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2010. 104:641-653.

Jonikaitis D, Deubel H, de’Sperati C. Time gaps in mental imagery introduced by competing saccadic tasks. Vision Research. 2009. Vol 49, pp.2164-2175.

de’Sperati C, Baud-Bovy, G. Blind saccades: An asynchrony between seeing and looking. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2008. Vol. 28, pp. 4317-4321.

D’Avossa G, Tosetti M, Crespi S, Biagi L, Burr DC, Morrone MC. Spatiotopic selectivity of BOLD responses to visual motion in human area MT. Nature Neuroscience. 2007. 10 (2): 249-255.

Giora E, Casco C. Region- and edge-based configurational effects in texture segmentation. Vision Research. 2007. Vol. 47, p. 879-886.

de’Sperati C, Deubel H. Mental extrapolation of motion modulates responsiveness to visual stimuli. Vision Research. 2006. Vol. 46, pp. 2593-2601.

Director: Flavia Valtorta
Deputy Director: Carla Taveggia
Clinical Research Coordinator: Andrea Falini

Organization
The Division of Neuroscience is made up of more then 300 scientists – rostered in 21 basic research units and 17 clinical research units – working together to investigate key issues in all main neuroscience areas. Among the units affiliated to the Division, those involved in translational medicine (11 basic research units and 6 clinical research groups) have been assembled into the Institute of Experimental Neurology (INSPE). Three clinical departments are affiliated to the Division of Neuroscience: the Department of Neurology, the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and the Department of Head and Neck. Members of the Division are part of the faculty of the Schools of Medicine, Biotechnology, Psychology and Philosophy. In addition, the Division is actively involved in the training of graduate students, organizing PhD Courses in Neuroscience, Experimental Neurology, Neurobiotechnology, Developmental Psychopathology, and taking part in the PhD Course in Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Scientific activities

Our long-term goal is to understand the normal function of the brain and to discover cures for the nervous system ravaged by disease. The impressive advances in our knowledge of the nervous system and the promising developments in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders have made neuroscience one of the most active branches in modern biology and medicine. Scientists within the Division study the nervous system from many perspectives, spanning from the molecular level to behaviour and cognition, but always with the final aim of integrating basic research with clinical applications. The following main goals can be identified:

  • understand the healthy nervous system;
  • understand neurological and psychiatric diseases;
  • enable early and routine diagnosis of neurological and psychiatric conditions;
  • develop new therapeutic strategies;
  • accelerate the process of therapy development;
  • develop new technologies for observing the nervous system; (vii) develop new strategies to probe neural functions;
  • implement databases and biobanks for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Research units/clinic research groups