Scientific publications

Scientific publications constitute the path, evolution and memory of our knowledge of the sectors and fields of application of our studies.

In this section we present some of the most significant examples of our research.

31 JAN 2013

Characterization of affective states by pupillary dynamics and autonomic correlates

Authors: F Onorati, R Barbieri, M Mauri, V Russo, L Mainardi

Journal: Frontiers in Neuroengineering 

With the recent advent of new recording devices and an easier access to signal processing tools, researchers are increasingly exploring and studying the Pupil Dilation (PD) signal. Recently, numerous studies pointed out the relations between PD dynamics and psychophysiological states. Although it is well known that PD is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), and ANS responses are related to emotional events/stimuli, the relationship between emotional states and PD is still an open issue. The aim of this study is to define the statistical properties of the PD signal, to understand its relationship with ANS correlates such as Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and respiration (RESP), and to explore if PD could provide information for the evaluation of the psychophysiological response of ANS to affective triggering events. ECG, RESP, and PD data from 13 normal subjects were recorded during a memory recall paradigm, and processed with spectral and cross-spectral analysis. Our results demonstrate that variability indices extracted from fast PD oscillations, not observable through standard cardiorespiratory identification in the frequency domain, would be able to discern psychophysiological responses elicited by basic emotional stimuli. A strong linear coupling was found between the variables, due to the influence of RESP on both PD and HRV within the High Frequency (HF) band, from 0.15 to 0.45Hz. Most importantly, our results point at PD features as possible candidates for characterizing basic emotional stimuli.

01 JUL 2012

Measuring the effects of visual demand on lateral deviation: A comparison among driver’s performance indicators

Authors: L Minin, S Benedetto, M Pedrotti, A Re, F Tesauri

Journal: Applied ergonomics 43 (3), 486-492 18

In this study, we compare the efficacy of three driver’s performance indicators based on lateral deviation in detecting significant on-road performance degradations while interacting with a secondary task: the High Frequency Component of steering wheel (HFC), and two indicators described in ISO/DIS 26022 (2007): the Normative and the Adapted Lane Change Test (LCT). Sixteen participants were asked to perform a simulated lane-change task while interacting, when required, with a visual search task with two levels of difficulty. According to predictions, results showed that the Adapted LCT indicator, taking into consideration individual practices in performing the LCT, succeeded in discriminating between single and dual task conditions. Furthermore, this indicator was also able to detect whether the driver was interacting with an easy or a difficult secondary task. Despite predictions, results did not confirm Normative LCT and HFC to be reliable indicators of performance degradation within the simulated LCT.

31 JAN 2012

Eye-tracking recordings and psychophysiological reactions

Authors: M Mauri, V Russo, F Onorati

Journal: International Journal of Psychology

Nowadays the techniques that study consumers’ behavior can take advantage of neuroscientific findings. That is why researchers have initiated discussions on a new research field, Neuromarketing. Although this is a promising field, many issues about the use and application of neuroscientific tools, methods and technologies are still being debated in the scientific community. It is not evident yet how to apply the results and methods provided by neuroscience and psychophysiological research into the practice of marketers, even though other social sciences, such as economics, have already integrated neuroscience into a new research field called neuroeconomics. To add empirical data to these topics, we showed 30 IULM students 20 advertising flyers. They were asked to come to the Brain and Behavior Lab on IULM University campus and sit in front of a computer while their neuro and psychophysiological reactions were recorded with non-invasive sensors: namely, EEG, EMG, Galvanic Skin Response, Heart Rate and Respiration. The recording device was synchronized with an eye-tracker system, in order to measure the pupil dilation, as an additional contactless indicator of emotional reactions, and the tracking of subjects’ gaze pointing to the PC screen. Firstly, the data analysis revealed that the most successful flyer, according to the expressed opinions of the students, is characterized by a specific pattern of neuro and psychophysiological signals. In contrast, the least successful flyer was associated with another specific pattern. These data results might help in designing a procedure to test advertising flyers based on neuro and psychophysiological reactions.

Related articles: