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Lorella Battelli

Principal Investigator, HuBBS, Human Behavior and Brain Stimulation Lab
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Research in the Human Behavior and Brain Stimulation Lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms of visual perception and attention in the human brain.  While our main focus is on basic science, our research also has a strong translational component, for rehabilitation of stroke patients. Our general approach is to use noninvasive brain stimulation to focally perturb perceptual/cognitive functions, combined with quantitative visual psychophysics to assay the effects of these causal manipulations. We are pioneers and leader in this coupled approach, publishing dozens of studies with collaborators from Harvard and other institutions. We have extended this integrated approach to examine – and ameliorate – visual and attentional deficits in stroke patients.

We use several behavioral, noninvasive brain stimulation and imaging techniques such as TMS, tDCS, tRNS and fMRI. In particular, we have used fMRI to observe the effects of TMS on brain-wide neural-network activity involved in sustained attention.  Our studies have established neuromodulation as a tool to boost cognitive functions in stroke patients. More recently, we have used direct current stimulation to dramatically improve visual functions in stroke patients affected by cortical blindness. 

All Publications
Battelli L.
Behavioral gain following isolation of attention
Scientific Reports
Article Journal
Battelli L.
Controlling brain state prior to stimulation of parietal cortex prevents deterioration of sustained attention
Cerebral Cortex Communications
Article in Press Journal
Wagner J., Lo Monaco S., Conto F., Parrott D., Battelli L., Rusconi E.
Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over the posterior parietal cortex on novice X-ray screening performance
Cortex, vol. 132, pp. 1-14
Article Journal
Agosta S., Magnago D., Galante E., Ferraro F., Magherini A., Di Giacopo R., Miceli G., Battelli L.
Lateralized cognitive functions in Parkinson's patients: A behavioral approach for the early detection of sustained attention deficits
Brain Research, vol. 1726
Article Journal
Garcia J.O., Battelli L., Plow E., Cattaneo Z., Vettel J., Grossman E.D.
Understanding diaschisis models of attention dysfunction with rTMS
Scientific Reports, vol. 10, (no. 1)
Scientific Talks
Contò F., Battelli L.
tRNS facilitates perceptual learning on cross-tasks training
Vision Sciences Society