Research line: Consciousness & agency



Investigations on consciousness mainly observe changes and alterations of consciousness states. How is our ability to become aware of ourselves, our thoughts and our behaviour built, supported by our brain, or modified by mental disorders or brain lesions? Which are the neural processes that move the spotlight of our consciousness on reality? How can we self-ascribe the ability to intentionally act and be responsible of our behaviour, and attribute such agentive stance to other social agents? The hard problem of consciousness still fuels many multidisciplinary debates and stimulates both basic and applied neuroscientific research. Our studies in such neuroscientific field focus, in particular, on defining neural correlates of different states of consciousness and on the development of novel methods and protocols to investigate and assess disorders of consciousness caused by cortical and subcortical injuries that interrupt the normal functioning of human senses and cognition. Again, our research interests have also brought us to explore neural processes supporting awareness of our bodily experiences and our sense of being agents (i.e. sense of agency), as well as to investigate smart mechanisms that allow us to swiftly identify other potential inter-agents in the environment and adapt our strategic behaviour accordingly.



Keywords: Consciousness; Self-awareness; Body ownership; Sense of agency