I obtained my Master's degree in Body and Mind Sciences at University of Turin (IT), where I spent one year as research assistant among MANIBUS Lab under the supervision of prof. Francesca Garbarini. During that period of hands-on experience with EEG setup, montage and data processing, I got familiar with behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) paradigms for investigating multi-sensory integration, motor control, body and space representation. My main research interest is interaction with music approached from the perspective of psychology and neurosciences, which brought me at IPEM Institute for Systematic Musicology to start a PhD in December 2018.
My work is focused on human rhythmic behavior, and develops along two lines of research. On the one hand, I investigate the behavioral and neural dynamics underlying interpersonal coordination. On the other hand, I develop methods for quantifying the stability of neural entrainment during synchronization with environmental rhythms. The methods of my research mainly consist of a combination of behavioral and electroencefalography (EEG) analyses from interactive experimental scenarios, with a core focus on multimodal signal processing and design of novel experimental paradigms.
My experimental work started with the design of an interactive paradigm for dyadic rhythmic interactions. In my first study, I focused on modality-specific dynamics of spontaneous entrainment, showing how the relevance of kinematics information conveyed via visual coupling shapes the interaction in very consistent manner across dyads. Ongoing extensions of this paradigm include sonification strategies to convey kinematic information via the auditory channel, and manipulation of visuo-spatial perspective via 'body-swapping'.
My training in more advanced neuroscientific methodologies began in 2019 under the supervision of Dr. O.A. Heggli and Professor P. Vuust from the Center for Music in the Brain in Århus (DK), where I spent one month for my first research stay abroad in 2019 and two months for a second stay in 2021. The proposal of the second stay was awarded an FWO Mobility Grant for long research stays abroad. To this date, the collaboration led to a joint publication on a high-impact neuroscientific journal, and a solid ongoing collaboration which is meant to result in further scientific output and extend beyond the duration of my PhD project.
Delving into these techniques lead me to collaborating with Lousin Moumdjian from Ghent and Hasselt Universities (BE), investigating auditory-motor coupling in neuropathological populations such as persons with multiple sclerosis and cerebellar ataxia, and Marc Vidal Badia from Ghent (BE) and Granada (SP) Universities on mathematical modelling of intra- and inter-brain dynamics. Such collaborations led me to expand my research in the domains of neurorehabilitation and mathematics, respectively. In the case of L. Moumdjian, I am actively involved as collaborator in her personal FWO postdoc mandate in quality of EEG data analyst and consultant (2022-2025). This resulted in joint publications, ongoing submission to neuroscientific and neurorehabilitation journals, and a series of papers which I will co-author. Furthermore, it established a connection with the lab of Professor B. Morillon at Aix-Marseille University in Marseille (FR), where I had the opportunity to visit and consolidate my knowledge of advanced analysis methods based on cross-frequency of brain activity and rhythmic behaviors (finger-tapping and walking).
In 2019, I was awarded a BOF scholarship for the project ‘Human rhythmic interactions in healthy and clinical populations’, to extend my investigation to normal and pathological ageing, with the goal of building a fundamental knowledge of the sensorimotor deficit in Alzheimer Disease (AD) and address interventions to improve coordinative and communicative functions in such population. The project is being currently carried out under the co-supervision of Professor Séverine Samson and in the framework of a co-tutelle with the PSITEC research group in Lille (FR). The final outcome of the agreement will consist of the award of a joint-PhD in Art Science and Neuroscience, foreseen in October 2023.
In the daily practice, I am keeping up my never-ending study of neural signal processing developing and publishing novel analysis techniques. The know-how acquired so far allows me to implement experiments in autonomy within the facilities offered by IPEM (ASIL Art Science and Interaction Lab), and portable solutions to export the experimental settings among the facilities offered by our international partners.