Prof. Olaf Blanke

Olaf Blanke

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Bertarelli Chair in Cognitive Neuroprosthetics
Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience (LNCO)

The Blanke Lab has two missions: the neuroscientific study of consciousness and the development of cognitive neuroprostheses. For the first part, we investigate the brain mechanisms of body awareness, combining psychophysical and cognitive paradigms with all major neuroimaging techniques. We have pioneered the use of engineering techniques such as robotics and haptics, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and their full integration with behavioral and physiological recordings (including MRI-compatible robotics), leading to the new research field of cognetics: the field of robotics and digital technologies dedicated to neuroscience research in cognition and consciousness studies.

Our clinical research projects focus on developing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches along two main lines: Robotics in neurology and Digiceuticals. Robotics in neurology targets the design of wearable robotic devices for novel diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in Parkinson’s disease suffering from hallucinations and dementia. In our digiceutical projects we develop novel immersive digital devices and therapies for chronic pain and related conditions by integrating digital technologies (VR, AR) with brain stimulation and latest research from the cognitive neurosciences. Our devices induce technology-mediated pain relief in patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, and neuropathic leg pain in spinal cord injury.

Keywords

Multisensory and sensorimotor processing, consciousness, neuroscience, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, neuroimaging, fMRI, EEG, neurology, Parkinson’s disease