Publications

Santa Lucia - Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Sapienza University of Rome

2008

Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jan 1;65(1):55-62. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.08.006. Epub 2008 Sep 23

Absence of embodied empathy during pain observation in Asperger syndrome

BACKGROUND: Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental condition within the autism spectrum conditions (ASC) characterized by specific difficulties in communication, social interaction, and empathy that is essential for sharing and…
We combined psychophysical and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies to investigate the dynamics of action anticipation and its underlying neural correlates in professional basketball players. Athletes predicted the success of free…
Eur J Neurosci. 2008 Sep;28(6):1222-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06406.x. Epub 2008 Sep 9

Empathic neural reactivity to noxious stimuli delivered to body parts and non-corporeal objects

Neuroimaging studies report that the experience of observing or imagining the pain of others is mapped on a set of neural structures that largely overlap those called into play during…
Neurocase. 2008;15(1):13-23. doi: 10.1080/13554790802570464

Finger recognition and gesture imitation in Gerstmann's syndrome

We report the association between finger agnosia and gesture imitation deficits in a right-handed, right-hemisphere damaged patient with Gerstmann's syndrome (GS), a neuropsychological syndrome characterized by finger and toe agnosia,…
Cortex. 2009 Oct;45(9):1072-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.10.004. Epub 2008 Oct 30

Freezing or escaping? Opposite modulations of empathic reactivity to the pain of others

Perceiving pain in others may induce the covert simulation of both sensory and emotional components of others' pain experience. Previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have investigated the motor counterpart…
Cereb Cortex. 2008 Oct;18(10):2382-90. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhn005. Epub 2008 Feb 21

Kinesthetic imagery and tool-specific modulation of corticospinal representations in expert tennis players

Specific physical or mental practice may induce short- and long-term neuroplastic changes in the motor system and cause tools to become part of one's own body representation. Athletes who use…
J Neurosci. 2008 Mar 19;28(12):3030-41. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5748-07.2008

Neural underpinnings of gesture discrimination in patients with limb apraxia

Limb apraxia (LA), is a neuropsychological syndrome characterized by difficulty in performing gestures and may therefore be an ideal model for investigating whether action execution deficits are causatively linked to…
Neuroimage. 2008 Apr 15;40(3):1419-28. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.12.056. Epub 2008 Jan 11

Seeing the pain of others while being in pain: a laser-evoked potentials study

Seeing actions, emotions and feelings of other individuals may activate resonant mechanisms that allow the empathic understanding of others' states. Being crucial for implementing pro-social behaviors, empathy is considered as…
Neuron. 2008 Oct 23;60(2):235-46. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.09.022

The neural basis of body form and body action agnosia

Visual analysis of faces and nonfacial body stimuli brings about neural activity in different cortical areas. Moreover, processing body form and body action relies on distinct neural substrates. Although brain…
Neuroimage. 2009 Jan 1;44(1):275-83. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Aug 9

The pain of a model in the personality of an onlooker: influence of state-reactivity and personality traits on embodied empathy for pain

The study of inter-individual differences at behavioural and neural levels represents a new avenue for neuroscience. The response to socio-emotional stimuli varies greatly across individuals. For example, identification with the…
Curr Biol. 2008 Nov 25;18(22):1766-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.061. Epub 2008 Nov 13

The sound of actions in apraxia

Studies in nonhuman and human primates have demonstrated that sound-producing actions are mapped on the same mirror circuits that are activated during the visual recognition and execution of actions [1-12].…
Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies show that action observation facilitates the onlooker's cortico-spinal system supporting the notion of motor mirroring. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over ventral premotor cortex…

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