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 behavioural 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.
The purpose of my work is to investigating coordination dynamics between people engaged in rhythmic interaction, and the underlying neural mechanisms. I am also interested in the neural correlates underlying entrainment and music perception. The methods of my research mainly consist of a combination of kinematic and electroencefalography (EEG) analyses from interactive musical scenarios.
My experimental work started with the design of a novel experimental paradigm for dyadic interactions. In my first study, I focused on modality-specific dynamics of entrainment, showing how the relevance of kinematics information conveyed via visual coupling shapes the interaction in very consistent manner across dyads. As a next step, I will implement sonification strategies in the same paradigm to convey kinematic information via the auditory channel to test the hypothesis of a supramodal advantage of kinematics in the interaction. Further extentions will include manipulating the perspective via 'body-swapping', which is relevant to investigate coordination dynamics in augmented/virtual/mixed reality.
In the meantime, I am keeping up my never-ending study of neural signal processing exploring novel techniques. I am followed and supported in this process by 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. I am planning on spending two months for my second stay as soon as the mobility will be back to normality.
Delving into these techniques lead me to collaborating with Lousin Moumdjian, investigating auditory-motor coupling in neuropathological populations such as multiple sclerosis and cerebellar lesions, and Marc Vidal Badia on modelling intra- and inter-brain dynamics.
In 2019, my project was awarded a BOF scholarship to extend my project 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).
During my first two years at IPEM, I have been building up my expertise in EEG analysis techniques, my knowledge of statistical modelling, and ultimately my skills in programming (MATLAB, R, Arduino) and signal routing. The know-how acquired so far allows me to implement experiments in autonomy within the facilities offered by IPEM, and portable solutions to export the experimental settings among the facilities offered by our international partners."