What we do
Multisensory integration for naturalistic action
The leading questions for this project are: How do we process tactile information during action? Which are the sensory priorities for the execution of a naturalistic goal-directed action? Because the multisensory input arriving at our sensory receptors is perpetually changing, how do we extract specifically what interests us or serves our body action? The goal here is to investigate both top-down, motivation-driven sensorimotor integration for naturalistic actions, but also the specific basic sensorimotor transformations that sustain goal-directed actions, such as they happen in a dynamic world. Importantly, not only the multisensory landscape is ever-changing, but our body is active, immersed in activity throughout the day. We thus plan to address naturalistic goal-driven action and its close interaction with the perceptual system. We are concerned with ecological validity, so our experimental designs are intended to reflect the reality of goal-directed action, such as this unfolds in typical real-world scenarios.
Links from action to cognition
We use naturalistic goal-directed action to investigate whether and how action links to cognition and cognitive decision-making. Take, for instance, quantity estimation. We are very fast to estimate quantities that we can easily count, but can you rapidly guess how many marbles are there in this photo? Haptic searches are used together with magnitude estimations to evidence principles of sensorimotor processing. Further, to mirror real life, we manipulate sensory feedback and we investigate novelty and unpredictability in sensorimotor processing, by using both behavioural kinetic/kinematic, and EEG measurements.
Interoceptive training for action
When studying perceptual function in the context of goal-directed action, a typical control condition consists of testing perception in a resting state of the body. To date, this bodily resting state is ambiguous with regards to the processing for action and higher motivation. We aim to monitor psychophysiological information from the body and fully characterize the resting state of the body for cognition and sensorimotor behaviour.
Sensorimotor nudges for well-being
With the studies in this project, we aim to utilize the results collected on multisensory integration for naturalistic action (i.e., including complex sensory stimuli, such as music, or food) and sensorimotor processing laws to intervene and conduct lasting behavioural changes for human health and well-being. Further, given current isolation-prone and increasingly-digitalized global times, we intend to study ideal propagators of behavioural nudges as suggested by sensorimotor work, e.g., human vs. artificial intelligence.