Experimental and Behavioral Neurophysiology Lab | Fondazione Santa Lucia

Experimental and Behavioral Neurophysiology Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Experimental and Behavioral Neurophysiology investigates the neurobiological basis (anatomical, biochemical and molecular) of motor, cognitive and emotional behavior, through the analysis of the morphology and physiology of the nervous system. The Laboratory studies the behavioral changes at different stages of life or in the presence of central nervous system diseases. The relationship between cognitive and emotional functions and structural features of the brain areas involved is carried out in experimental models of Alzheimer's disease or cerebellar lesions. More generally, the Laboratory is involved in research activities focusing on behavioral and neurobiological aspects of several neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. It has acquired over the years expertise in molecular, cellular and behavioral techniques, as well as the collection and analysis of behavioral data and related neurobiological, biochemical, histological and molecular data. The Laboratory also studies neuroprotective and neurorehabilitative effects of pharmacological and environmental factors.

 

Environmental Enrichment

The Laboratory studies the environmental enrichment model, a condition characterized by increased cognitive, motor and social stimulation, which empowers the brain's resistance to disease occurrence. The model also analyzes heritability. Other research activities examine maternal care and its influence on the development and maintenance of cognitive-emotional skills in offspring.

 

Influence of the Diet on Cognitive and Emotional Skills

Other studies carried out by the Laboratory are intended to clarify whether supplementation of the diet with specific nutrients, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, can increase the cognitive and emotional skills in elderly subjects. The hypothesis is that dietary factors, easily implemented in a low cost diet, can not only prevent certain diseases but also support and promote the well-being of individuals, inclusive of emotional skills and stress resistance, as well as cognitive performance.

 

Choice Behavior

The Laboratory deals with the characterization of individual differences that lead an individual to pursue positive stimuli and to avoid negative ones. In order to identify the brain areas involved, the Laboratory examines how these choice behaviors are associated with neurochemical and structural activity.

Collaborations 
  • Department of Psychology, Sapienza – University of Rome (Italy)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Looking For New Insight On Omega-3 Fatty Acids Role On Cognitive Decline And Brain Dysfunctions In Age-Related Disorders

Laboratory of Experimental and Behavioral Neurophysiology

 

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via del Fosso di Fiorano, 64 – 00143 Rome

European Centre for Brain Research (CERC) - Floor 1 - Room 117