Biorobotics

TRANSLATIONAL NEURAL ENGINEERING AREA

Computational Neuroengineering Laboratory

The Computational Neuroengineering Laboratory studies information processing in the nervous system. 
We combine methods from Computational Neuroscience - decoding and information analysis of biological and artificial neural data, spiking neuronal networks simulations - with the application-driven approach of Biomedical Engineering and Neuro Robotics. Understanding information processing is indeed a key feature for the development of neural interfaces, and such interfaces can in turn be used to validate neural models. Moreover, capturing neural coding dynamics is a basic step toward the development of biomimetic software/hardware for data processing.
Theoretical studies on the origin of neural signals, information transmission, and dynamics of neuronal networks are then complemented by a broad range of Biorobotic applications, spanning from invertebrates to humans, from sensory processing to decision making.

As examples of such applications, we are working on the analysis of healthy and pathological neural dynamics in the autonomic nervous system and in the basal ganglia to shed light on metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, and we are contributing with the analysis of behavioral and neural responses to external stimuli to the development of novel upper and lower limb neuroprostheses. Recent modeling works include instead:  sleep/wake transition in thalamic networks, synaptic and network factors determining the local field potential, and phase-of-firing code in single neurons.

 

Principal Investigator:

Dott. Alberto Mazzoni  
e-mail: alberto.mazzoni@santannapisa.it

PhD Students:

Federica Barberi
Jessica D'Abbraccio
Giacomo D'Alesio
Alessio Fasano
Michael Lassi
Elena Manferlotti
Nicolò Meneghetti
Matteo Vissani

Research Assistants:

Federico Micheli

Undergraduate Students:

Federico Mastellone

Alumni:

Marina Cracchiolo
Lorenzo Fruzzetti
Sahana Prasanna
Udaya Bhaskar Rongala
Matteo Saponati


GRANTS

  • FRESCO FOUNDATION RESEARCH GRANT - assessing the role of Deep Brain Stimulation and the effects of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in speech degradation in Parkinson's Disease;
  • PROTECTION: interplay between visual cortex spontaneous and induced activity and glioma progression. Progetto di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale (PRIN)
  • PREVIEW: predicting the probability of evolution from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer's disease with EEG analysis. Bando Salute Regione Toscana

RECENT AND SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Click here to find the full list of publications.

Neuroengineering

  • Canessa A, Palmisano C, Isaias UI, Mazzoni A, Gait-related frequency modulation of beta oscillatory activity in the subthalamic nucleus of parkinsonian patients, Brain Stimulation (in press);
  • Vissani M, Isaias UI, Mazzoni A, Deep brain stimulation: a review of the open neural engineering challengesJournal of Neural Engineering (in press);
  • Meneghetti N, Dedola F, Gavryusev V, Sancataldo G, Turrini L, de Vito G, Tiso N, Vanzi F, Carpaneto J, Cutrone A, Pavone FS, Micera S, Mazzoni A, Direct activation of zebrafish neurons by ultrasonic stimulation revealed by whole CNS calcium imaging, Journal of Neural Engineering (in press);
  • Cracchiolo M, Valle G, Petrini FM, Strauss I, Granata G, Stieglitz T, Rossini PM,  Raspopovic S, Mazzoni A, Micera S, Decoding of grasping tasks from intraneural recordings in trans-radial amputeeJournal of Neural Engineering (2020);
  • Dedola F, Ulloa Severino FP, Meneghetti N, Lemaire T, Cafarelli A, Ricotti L, Menciassi A, Cutrone A, Micera S, Mazzoni A, Ultrasound stimulations induce prolonged depolarization and fast action potentials in leech neurons, IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology (2020);
  • Vissani M., Cordella R., Micera S., Eleopra R., Romito L.*, Mazzoni A.*, Spatio-temporal structure of single neuron subthalamic activity identifies DBS target for anesthetized Tourette Syndrome patients, Journal of Neural Engineering (2019);
  • D’Anna E., Valle G., Mazzoni A., Strauss I., Iberite F., Patton J., Petrini FM, Raspopovic S., Granata G., Di Iorio R., Controzzi M., Cipriani C., Stieglitz T., Rossini PM., Micera S., A closed-loop hand prosthesis with simultaneous intraneural tactile and position feedback, Science Robotics 4:27 eaau8892 (2019);
  • Valle G., Mazzoni A., Iberite F., D’Anna E., Strauss I., Granata G., Controzzi M., Clemente F., Rognini G., Cipriani C., Stieglitz T., Petrini FM., Rossini PM., Micera S., Biomimetic Intraneural Sensory Feedback Enhances Sensation Naturalness, Tactile Sensitivity, and Manual Dexterity in a Bidirectional Prosthesis, NEURON 37-45 1 :100 (2018);
  • Mazzoni A., Rosa M., Carpaneto J., Romito LM., Priori P., Micera S., Subthalamic neural activity patterns anticipate economic risk decisions in gambling, eNeuro. 0366-17.2017 (2018).

Network models

  • Romeni S, Valle G, Mazzoni A, Micera S., Tutorial: a computational framework for the design and optimization of peripheral neural interfaces, Nature Protocols (2020);
  • Saponati M., Garcia-Ojalvo J., Cataldo E., Mazzoni A., Integrate-and-Fire Network Model of Activity Propagation from Thalamus to CortexBiosystems 183: 103978 (2019);
  • Stellino F., Mazzoni A., Storace M., Phase analysis methods for burst onset prediction, Physical Review E 95 (2), 022412 (2017);
  • Barardi A, Garcia-Ojalvo J, Mazzoni A.,Transition between Functional Regimes in an Integrate-And-Fire Network Model of the Thalamus, PLoS ONE 11(9) e0161934 (2016);
  • Mazzoni A., Lindén H., Cuntz H., Lansner A., Panzeri S., Einevoll GT., Computing the Local Field Potential (LFP) from Integrate-and-Fire network models, PLoS Comp Biol 11 e1004584 (2015).

Analysis of Sensory Information

  • Mazzoni A, Oddo CM, Valle G, Camboni D, Strauss I, Barbaro M, Barabino G, Puddu R, Carboni C, Bisoni L, Carpaneto J, Vecchio F, Petrini FM, Romeni S, Czimmermann T,  Massari L, di Iorio R, Miraglia F, Granata G, Pani D, Stieglitz T, Raffo L, Rossini PM, Micera S, Morphological Neural Computation Restores Discrimination of Naturalistic Textures in Trans-radial Amputees Scientific, Reports 10 (2020);
  • Rongala UB., Mazzoni A., Chiurazzi M., Camboni D., Milazzo M., Massari L., Ciuti G., Roccella S., Dario P., Oddo CM., Tactile Decoding of Edge Orientation with Artificial Cuneate Neurons in Dynamic ConditionsFrontiers in Neurorobotics doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2019.00044 (2019);
  • Oddo CM., Mazzoni A., Spanne A., Enander JMD., Micera S., Jorntell H., Artificial spatiotemporal touch inputs reveal complementary decoding in neocortical neurons, Scientific Reports 8, 45898 (2017);
  • Oddo CM., Raspospovic S., Artoni F., Mazzoni A., Carrozza MC., Guglielmelli E., Rossini PM., Faraguna U., Micera S., Intraneural discrimination of textural features by artificial fingertip in intact and amputee humans, eLife 5, e09148 (2016);
  • Rongala UB., Mazzoni A., Oddo CM., Neuromorphic Artificial Touch for Categorization of Naturalistic Textures, IEEE TNNLS (2015).

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