Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Visual-Motor Control and Space Microgravity Physiology Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory objective is to understand the principles and the neural basis of sensorimotor coordination in humans. Research interests are neurophysiology, space physiology, coordination and visual-motor control on the ground and in space, spatial disorientation, psychophysics of motion perception and finally the mental movement imagination. Experimental subjects are healthy patients with disorders in the sensory-motor coordination. The Laboratory goal is to advance the knowledge base in the sensorimotor neuroscience so as to develop innovative methods in advancing patient rehabilitation.


Space Research

The Laboratory of Visual-Motor Control and Space Microgravity Physiology has been engaged for many years in scientific projects, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) as well as the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to study astronaut adaption to life in space. Paolo Nespoli, Roberto Vittori and Samantha Cristoforetti have participated in laboratory experiments as well as many other astronauts of diverse nationalities. Published research is found in leading international scientific journals, such as Science and Nature Neuroscience. This research activity also results in clinical purposing for our patients. The study of adaption to new living environments by the brain's coping mechanisms and how joints and muscles react allows scientists to gather information to develop technologies and treatment protocols useful in physical rehabilitation. In the case of an astronaut the external conditions are the obstacle to which adaption must be made, whereas with the physically disabled people obstacle is reduced motor resource.

Ongoing Research Projects 

  • Shrink / Slink ASI
  • Shrink / Slink Arianna ASI

Laboratory of Visual-Motor Control and Space Microgravity Physiology​

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via Ardeatina, 354 – 00179 Rome