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Matteo Lisi

PhD Student
Post Doc
Neuroscience and society
Research center

Currently I am investigating how the ethnicity and the gender of virtual avatars influence the behavioral and psychophysiological reactions (heart rate, skin conductance) to social and intimate touch in immersive virtual environments. Previously, I investigated the role of the participants' sex and sexual orientation in shaping these responses, providing evidence that is possible to combine the full body ownership illusion and the vicarious perception of touch to investigate intimate and social touch in a controlled experimental setting.
In my past activity I also investigated how people regulated interpersonal distance toward virtual avatars and specifically how: a) sexual orientation and sexual prejudice affect comfort-distance judgments toward male and female avatars; b) how dispositional and situation factors influenced the adherence to the physical distancing measure during the first COVID-19 outbreak.
More broadly, I am interested in how social attitudes affect human-avatar nonverbal communication and, in turn, how Immersive Virtual Reality could induce positive intergroup vicarious contact and reduce prejudice toward stigmatized groups.


Title: M.Sc. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychological Rehabilitation
Institute: La Sapienza University of Rome
Location: Rome
Country: Italy
From: 2015 To: 2017

Title: B.Sc. in Psychology and Health
Institute: La Sapienza University of Rome
Location: Rome
Country: Italy
From: 2012 To: 2015

Experience External

Title: Internship
Institute: Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS
Location: Rome
Country: Italy
From: 2018 To: 2019

All Publications
Fini C., Bardi L., Bolis D., Fusaro M., Lisi M.P., Michalland A.H., Era V.
The social roots of self development: from a bodily to an intellectual interpersonal dialogue
Psychological Research
Lisi M.P., Fusaro M., Aglioti S.M.
Visual perspective and body ownership modulate vicarious somatosensory processing: A systematic review
Review Journal
Lisi M.P., Scattolin M., Fusaro M., Aglioti S.M.
A Bayesian approach to reveal the key role of mask wearing in modulating projected interpersonal distance during the first COVID-19 outbreak
PLoS ONE, vol. 16, (no. 8)
Fusaro M., Lisi M.P., Tieri G., Aglioti S.M.
Heterosexual, gay, and lesbian people’s reactivity to virtual caresses on their embodied avatars’ taboo zones
Scientific Reports, vol. 11, (no. 1), pp. 1-12
Lisi M.P., Fusaro M., Tieri G., Aglioti S.M.
Humans adjust virtual comfort-distance towards an artificial agent depending on their sexual orientation and implicit prejudice against gay men
Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 125