Prof. Luca Bonini
Luca Bonini was born in 1979 in Reggio Emilia (Italy). He earned his degree in Psychology (2003) and the Ph.D. in Neuroscience (2008) at the University of Parma. After a short post-doc period at the University of Parma, he joined the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) from 2010 to 2016, when he was awarded an ERC starting grant and became Associate Professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology at the University of Parma, Department of Medicine and Surgery.
He authored several scientific publications (including articles and reviews in peer-reviewed international journals, book chapters and conference proceedings), mostly focused on the neuronal mechanisms underlying motor, perceptual and cognitive functions of parietal and frontal cortical brain regions.
In the last years, within previously funded EU projects and in close collaboration with other members of the Department, particularly professors Rizzolatti and Orban, as well as with the Department of Mycrosystems Engineering of the University of Freiburg, he contributed to reveal new functions and properties of motor and mirror neurons in the parietal and frontal cortex, as well as to the development of new technical solutions and devices for chronic recording of the activity of several individual neurons simultaneously. These latter innovations will contribute to refine neurophysiological research and constitute the necessary premises for the new field of investigation pioneered within the ongoing ERC project.
WIRELESS will aim at investigating the brain mechanisms underlying the neural representation of motor actions, objects, others’ behavior and the surrounding space in freely-behaving monkeys. To this purpose, single neuron activity will be recorded with telemetric techniques while animals will freely interact with each other within a large plastic cage, monitored by a system of multiple high-resolution cameras. The goal of this new approach is to pave the way to the understanding of brain function and dysfunction in close-to-natural but well-controlled conditions, enabling the investigation of several primates’ behaviors previously impossible to study in conventional laboratory settings.
Working group: Luca Bonini, Cecilia Carapelli, Carolina Giulia Ferroni, Marzio Gerbella, Marco Lanzilotto, Alessandro Livi, Monica Maranesi.