Mind Sciences

The application of Virtual Environments (VEs) and robotics to Neuroscience enables a new means to study human perception, cognition and emotion with enhanced ecological validity. This opens new avenues also for the interventions to treat neurological and mental disorders. Our research line in these regards conceives VEs and robotics as a medium capable of assessing and training the cognitive functioning of its participants, and may be advantageous in several domains, spanning from neuropsychological assessment to cognitive rehabilitation, and from psychophysiological studies in healthy conditions to augmented training in daily life practices. Our research starts from established evidence and new findings in neuroscience and psychology, to design and develop technologies capable either of testing hypotheses come up from such grounds or applying them for transferring their effects on the participants. Our major interest is on cognitive and psychological processes, with a focus on attention and reflections on subjective experience. Along with a general interest on how cognition and emotion may affect design and implementation of a VE or of a robot or be affected by experiencing it, our research is applicable in cognitive rehabilitation, psychotherapy and psychophysiological monitoring.