CIMeC - Center for Mind/Brain Sciences

OverviewResearch directions | Members | Publications | Grants | Ongoing Collaborations

Overview

The central nervous system of humans is built of interleaved serial or parallel sensorimotor processes of varying complexity that concur at producing a seemingly unitarian output, i.e. actions. Interactions between sensorimotor modules are of considerable complexity, but their individual contribution to behavior can be dissected by neurophysiology and the study of behavior in conditions of transitory or permanent abnormal nervous function. Sensorimotor transformations and integration between different modules are based on connections between different neural centers. Consequently, our understanding of the complexity of the Action system should be based on knowledge of what and when, information is shared between neural centers.

Research directions

The main direction is to understand how different sensorimotor processes interact in the human brain to build a unitary behavioral pattern. Main topics are:

  • interactions between rule-based and stimulus-based processes;
  • inhibitory phenomena and immobilization behavior;
  • eye-hand coordination in the action system.

Hypotheses in these domains are tested by the following methodology:

  • investigating in healthy humans the connections between different cortical nodes of sensorimotor networks by means of non-invasive brain stimulation (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS) coupled with anatomical connectivity data;
  • using TMS as a “hypothesis-independent” brain mapping tool by means of the dense mapping protocols;
  • investigating in neurosurgical intraoperative settings the functional connectivity within sensorimotor modules;
  • investigating in brain-lesioned patients patterns of abnormal sensorimotor associations.

Members

Luigi Cattaneo, Principal Investigator

Publications

For a complete list see Luigi Cattaneo personal page

Grants

NEURO-CONNECT, Systems neuroscience meets clinical neurosurgery: development of novel multimodal monitoring indices of brain connectivity in patients with glioma – granted by the CariVerona foundation total amount: 355.000 euros. PI: Francesco Sala

Ongoing collaborations

  • Francesco Sala, Neurosurgery Unit, University of Verona;
  • Corrado Sinigaglia, Università Statale di Milano:
  • Thomas Brochier, Université de la Mediterranée (Marseille);
  • Juha Silvanto, University of Surrey;
  • Franca Deriu, Università di Sassari;
  • Marco Marelli, Università di Milano-Bicocca.