Neuroscience of Consciousness

The main scientific topic of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience is the understanding of the multisensory-motor basis of body perception and self-consciousness.

Past research from the lab has identified the functional and neural basis of alteration in specific mechanisms of multisensory and sensorimotor integration leading to specific disturbances of body perception in neurological patients (Blanke et al., Current Biology, 2014; Heydrich & Blanke, Brain, 2013; Arzy et al., Nature, 2006; Blanke et al., Nature, 2002;). We were also able to induce alterations of bodily experience and psychosis-like states in neurologically intact participants by manipulating sensorimotor and multisensory inputs through robotics and virtual reality (Blanke et al., Current Biology, 2014; Aspell et al., Psychological Science, 2013; Lenggenhager, Science, 2007) and to identify the neural mechanisms underlying such effects (Ionta et al., Neuron, 2011; Blanke, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2012).

Current work in the lab aims at bridging research on bodily self-consciousness with current scientific debate on the nature of Consciousness in general, and study the role of bodily self-consciousness in other cognitive functions and mental states.