Language, Cognition, Emotion and mental health
Our research is focused on the study of the embodied (sensorimotor and interoceptive) bases of cognitive and emotional processes, from early development to skilled performance, in healthy individuals and those with psychopathological conditions. To study these topics, we combine several methodologies, including experimental psychology and psychopathology, functional neuroimaging, and computational modelling.
Keywords: sensorimotor processes; interoception; embodied cognition; predictive processing; cognitive and affective sciences; mental health; concepts; language.
Our current topics include:
i) Embodied cognition, conceptual processing, and language. In keeping with the framework of embodied cognition, we consider the key roles of sensorimotor, interoceptive and bodily dynamics in cognitive and perceptual processing. We study the cognitive, sensorimotor, and interoceptive factors underlying the acquisition, processing and representation of different types of concepts (abstract, concrete, emotional) in populations at different developmental stages (adults and children). In our studies, we consider behavioral (response times, self-reports), brain imaging and kinematic measures.
ii) Interoception, emotion, and computational psychiatry. In keeping with the framework of (embodied) predictive processing, we study the cognitive, sensorimotor and interoceptive factors underlying cognitive-affective processes and the construction of our emotional experiences. Furthermore, we study how interoceptive dysfunctions might concur in the etiology and maintenance of psychopathological conditions, such as anorexia nervosa, functional disorders, and panic disorder. In our studies, we consider behavioral (response times, self-reports), brain imaging and kinematic measures and computational modelling (predictive coding and active inference).
PhD student: Gian Luca Lancia
Graduation Thesis: Daniela Countino Duarte
Trainees: Salvatore Diana