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Autonomic Nervous System Dynamics

Heartbeat dynamics and its spontaneous fluctuations are directly controlled by autonomic nervous system (ANS) outflow to the heart. Specifically, the multipath feedback system for neural control of the heart is manifested by the complex interaction between the sympathetic and parasympathetic (vagal) limbs of the ANS.

Brain-Heart Interaction

Through their dynamical interplay, the brain and the heart ensure fundamental homeostasis and mediate a number of physiological functions as well as their disease-related aberrations. Although a vast number of ad hoc analytical and computational tools have been recently applied to the non-invasive characterization of brain and heart dynamic functioning, little attention has been devoted to combining information to unveil the interactions between these two physiological systems.

Our research activity is focused on

EMG Processing

Many studies have been conducted on muscular fatigue. Muscular force production is mainly controlled by two phenomena: the recruitment of additional motor units (MUs) and the increase of firing rate of the already active MUs. These phenomena happen in different proportions in different muscles. Specifically, in some muscles the recruitment of new MUs can be stopped at about 50% of the maximal force, while in others it can be observed until the maximal voluntary contraction force.

ICT for Humans

ICT for Humans research is aimed to develop novel systems to monitoring physiological signals and variables

ICT for Mental Health

Depression is the third leading contributor to global diseases, and depressive mood state is also considered to be strictly related to the onset or worsening of a severe primary somatic disease. Our research focuses on early assessment of human mental health through analysis of behavioral and physiological signals, also devising ad-hoc cutting-edge, advanced biomedical signal processing and artificial intelligence techniques.

Neural Modeling and Simulation


This research activity is focused on

1) Modeling in-vitro neural cultures

2) Modeling Neuron-Glia dynamics and interaction

3) Modeling Neuron-Glia dynamics at a network level


This activity is carried out in collaboration with Prof. Enzo Wanke (University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy)



Modeling in-vitro neural cultures

Inhomogeneous Point-Process Models for Heartbeat Dynamics

This research activity is focused on

1) Developing Inhomogeneous Point-Process Models of human heartbeat dynamics

2) Extend the framework including nonlinear dynamics

3) Extend the framework including multivariate dynamics (e.g., respiration, blood pressure, etc.)


This activity is carried out in strict collaboration with Prof. Riccardo Barbieri (Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, and Mass. General Hospital, Boston, USA), and Prof. Luca Citi (University of Essex, Colchester, UK)





Haptics and Robotics

This research activity is focused on

1) Investigate physiological correlates of haptic elicitation through advances biomedical signal processing methods

2) Investigate affective properties of touch and affective haptics devices

3) Exploit physiological correlates characterizing haptic devices

4) Develop novel haptic interfaces accounting for spontaneous physiological dynamics


ICT for Animals

The ICT tools for Animals are new line of hardware and software solutions designed to monitor autonomic nervous system activity. Specifically, the system is able to acquire simultaneously cardiac, respiratory and physical activity of animals for several hours; to store it locally, and to stream the acquired data forward to a portable electronics (e.g. a smartphone or a table or a laptop etc.). 



Computational Physiology & Biomedical Instruments Group, University of Pisa


Feel-ING is a new start-up specialized in developing and implementing innovative Information and Communication Technology solutions for the optimization of the psychophysical performance and the promotion of wellbeing and mental health