The Cogpsy lab investigates the neural basis and the electrophysiological correlates of cognitive processes. Specifically, we study visual perception, categorization and recognition memory for stimuli belonging to different categories (faces, objects, animals, …), in normal and neuropsychological patients. Particular attention is given to the study of the temporal dynamics of face processing and recognition. One research goal is to better understand the interaction between emotion and cognition, by studying the responses to faces that convey particular facial expressions, facial attractiveness and trustworthiness. Moreover, we use different paradigms to explore how visual processing can be shaped by top-down, cognitive processes. Other lines of work in our lab explore the neural correlates of time perception.
We use a combination of methods including behavioral and electrophysiological techniques (Event Related Potentials and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) in order to achieve a more complete understanding of how the human brain recognizes the world.
Furthermore, another major goal of our current research is to employ a variety of techniques, including electroencephalography (EEG), to find out the electropsychological markers for an early diagnosis of cognitive decline in MCI patients (Mild Cognitive Impairment), to identify promising targets for prevention and treatment in Parkinson disease and to assess the neural underpinnings of developmental dyslexia. We are actually developing new approach’s to objectively measure spared and preserved cognitive processes in neuropsychological patients and to design new rehabilitations training procedures that take into account individual cognitive abilities.
One particular research interest is Congenital or Developmental Prosopagnosia, that concerns a difficulty in face recognition, presumably present from birth. We are interested in finding out the prevalence of this face recognition difficulty in the Italian Population and to further characterize some relevant aspects related the neural mechanisms underlying this disorder. If you want to test your face recognition abilities, please click here.