Alessandro Piras

Alessandro Piras
University of Bologna | UNIBO · Department of Biomedical Science and Neuromotor Sciences DIBINEM

PhD

About

51
Publications
18,396
Reads
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777
Citations
Citations since 2017
33 Research Items
669 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
Alessandro Piras currently works at the Department of Biomedical Science and Neuromotor Sciences DIBINEM, University of Bologna. Alessandro does research in Sports Sciences, Neuroscience and Exercise Physiology.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Bologna
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2011 - December 2016
University of Bologna
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Professor of Applied Physiology, supervisor for thesis, and tester for exams at the Faculty of Sport Science, University of Bologna and Rimini.

Publications

Publications (51)
Article
In many daily and sport situations, people have to simultaneously perceive and process multiple objects and scenes in a short amount of time. A wrong decision may lead to a disadvantage for a team or for a single athlete, and during daily life (i.e., driving, surgery), it could have more dangerous consequences. Considering the results of different...
Article
Objective: The observers use the optic flow to control self-motion. However, the current state of knowledge indicates that it is difficult to understand how optic flow is used by the visual system without a direct measurement of the changes in the flow patterns caused by eye movements during natural behaviour. The purpose of this literature review...
Article
Full-text available
In order to systematically evaluate perceptual anticipation between experts and non-experts for different kinds of combat sports, we needed to perform a comprehensive assessment. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched four English-language and three Chinese-language databases that used expert/non-expert research paradigms, to expl...
Article
Full-text available
Optic flow is a perceptual cue processed for self-motion control. The aim of this study was to investigate whether postural control is modulated by the speed of radial optic flow stimuli. The experiments were performed on 20 healthy volunteers using stabilometry and surface electromyography (EMG). The subjects were instructed to fixate a central fi...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute physiological response to different warm-up protocols on the dynamic apnea performance. The traditional approach, including a series of short-mid dives in water (WET warm-up), was compared to a more recent strategy, consisting in exercises performed outside the water (DRY warm-up). Nine athletes were...
Article
Full-text available
Microsaccades are linked with extraretinal mechanisms that significantly alter spatial perception before the onset of eye movements. We sought to investigate whether microsaccadic activity is modulated by the speed of radial optic flow stimuli. Experiments were performed in the dark on 19 subjects who stood in front of a screen covering 135 × 107°...
Article
The role of optic flow in the control of balance in persons with Parkinson's disease (PD) has yet to be studied. Since basal ganglia are understood to have a role in controlling ocular fixation, we have hypothesized that persons with PD would exhibit impaired performance in fixation tasks, i.e., altered postural balance due to the possible relation...
Article
Full-text available
Peripheral vestibular disease can be treated with several approaches (e.g., maneuvers, surgery, or medical approach). Comorbidity is common in elderly patients, so polytherapy is used, but it can generate the development of drug–drug interactions (DDIs) that play a role in both adverse drug reactions and reduced adherence. For this reason, they nee...
Article
We investigated gaze behavior of expert goalkeepers during the prediction of penalty kicks in different spatiotemporal constraints: penalties taken from 11 and 6 m. From 11 m, goalkeepers were more successful in predicting ball direction, with longer movement time initiation and a visual strategy with more fixations and greater saccade rates than p...
Article
Full-text available
Visual information is essential to successfully anticipate the direction of the shot in ball sports whereas using another sense in motor learning has received less attention. The present study aimed to examine whether the multisensory learning with the orienting visual attention through the sound would influence anticipatory judgments with respect...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of anxiety on sports performance has always been one of the important research issues in the field of sports psychology. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of audiovisual information on the gaze behavior of individuals with trait anxiety in the recognizing of the badminton shot. Participants were 40 novices with trait an...
Article
Full-text available
Microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulation (MENS) is believed to alter blood flow, increasing cutaneous blood perfusion, with vasodilation and hyperemia. According to these physiological mechanisms, we investigated the short-term effects of MENS on constant-load exercise and the subsequent recovery process. Ten healthy subjects performed, on...
Article
Full-text available
Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) are used as non-invasive tools to enhance micro-circulation and tissue oxygenation, with a modulatory influence on the microvasculature. This study aimed to measure the acute effect of PEMF on muscle oxygenation and its influence on pulmonary oxygen kinetics during exercise. Eighteen male cyclists performed, on...
Article
Full-text available
Microsaccades are small eye movements produced during attempted fixation. During locomotion, the eyes scan the environment; the gaze is not always directed to the focus of expansion of the optic flow field. We sought to investigate whether the microsaccadic activity was modulated by eye position during the view of radial optic flow stimuli, and if...
Article
The spatial location indicated by a visual cue can bias microsaccades directions towards or away from the cue. Aim of this work was to evaluate the microsaccades characteristics during the monkey’s training, investigating the relationship between a shift of attention and practice. The monkey was trained to press a lever at a target onset, then an e...
Article
The aim of the present investigation was to assess the effect of long-term recreational swimming training on the cardiac autonomic responses in the healthy population. 70 habitual recreational swimmers (48.6±14.3 yrs.) and 60 sedentary adults (51.5±10.4 yrs.) were recruited. Arterial blood pressure was recorded with participants in supine position...
Article
Background Diabetic retinopathy is a principal cause of visual damage and blindness, in which laser treatment offers proven therapy. The progressive degeneration of the retina, secondary to diabetes, is believed to cause postural instability although this is not well documented. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of diabetic retino...
Article
Experts keep a steady final fixation at a specific location just before final movement initiation, the so-called “quiet eye” (QE). However, the eyes are rarely “quiet”, and small eye movements occur during visual fixation. The current research investigated the subtle eye movements and underlying mechanisms immediately prior to and during QE. The ga...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to determine the effects of dehydration on metabolic and neuromuscular functionality performance during a cycling exercise. Ten male subjects (age 23.4 ± 2.7 years; body weight 74.6 ± 10.4 kg; height 177.3 ± 4.6 cm) cycled at 65% VO2max for 60 min followed by a time-to-trial (TT) at 95% VO2max, in two different conditions: dehydrat...
Poster
Full-text available
The pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) are a non-invasive therapy used for medical treatments which increases blood flow, rate of tissue oxygenation and velocity of gas exchanges. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of PEMFs stimulation on VO2pulmonary and muscular kinetics during a constant-load exercise performed during cycl...
Article
Full-text available
Optic flow stimuli are crucial for the control of stance in the upright position. The visual control of posture has recently received a lot of interest from several researchers. One of the most intriguing aspects is the contribution of the different parts of the visual field in the control of stance. Here we reviewed the results of several studies...
Article
Full-text available
The success of a sporting task requiring an object to be kicked or hit toward a target (e.g., kicking a ball into a goal) is impacted by the length of the Quiet Eye (QE). Limitations in the ocular motor system mean that after impact, these fast moving objects are not tracked using smooth pursuit eye movements. Rather, anticipatory fixations are use...
Article
Context: Sports practice leads athletes to develop a specific body composition, coordination patterns and basic motor skills based on the different tactical and physical needs. Objectives: This study aimed to present and compare a wide range of functional movement patterns and body composition (BC) parameters of high-level male athletes playing...
Article
Full-text available
This investigation examined the effect of partial-body cryostimulation (PBC) performed in the recovery time between a strength training and an interval running (IR). Nine rugby players [age 23.7±3.6, BMI 28.0±2.6 kg/m2] were randomly exposed to two different conditions: i) PBC: 3-min at -160°C; ii) passive recovery at 21°C. We recorded the bioelect...
Article
Full-text available
The optic flow visual input directly influences the postural control. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between visually induced heading perception and postural stability, using optic flow stimulation. The dots were accelerated to simulate a heading direction to the left or to the right of the vertical midline. The partic...
Article
Full-text available
The cortical representation of visual perception requires the integration of several-signal processing distributed across many cortical areas, but the neural substrates of such perception are largely unknown. The type of firing pattern exhibited by single neurons is an important indicator of dynamic circuitry within or across cortical areas. Neuron...
Article
Running with the ball is a soccer-specific activity frequently used by players during match play and training drills. Nevertheless, the energy cost (EC) of on-grass running with the ball has not yet been determined. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess the EC of constant-speed running with the ball, and to compare it with the EC of nor...
Article
Microsaccades are important fixation eye movements for visual scene perception. Compared to novices, athletes make fewer fixations of longer duration toward limited interest areas crucial for action prediction. Thus, our aim was to study the microsaccade features during those fixations. Gaze behaviour of expert and novice table tennis players was r...
Article
We investigated cardiac autonomic responses and hemodynamic parameters on recovery time following short-, middle- and long-swimming performance. Ten male regional-level swimmers were tested to estimate time and frequency domains of arterial baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability after 100-, 200-, and 400-m of front crawl. We found a BRS...
Article
Optic flow is a crucial signal in maintaining postural stability. We sought to investigate whether the activity of postural muscles and body sway was modulated by eye position during the view of radial optic flow stimuli. We manipulated the spatial distribution of dot speed and the fixation point position to simulate specific heading directions com...
Article
L’obiettivo dello studio è confrontare i valori di potenza alle soglie aerobica (SA) ed anaerobica (SAN) determinate con diversi metodi. 7 ciclisti (15.1±1.2 anni) e 6 triatleti (14.8±0.6 anni) allenati, hanno effettuato un test incrementale al cicloergometro. Dopo un riscaldamento standard, i test prevedevano uno step di tre minuti, con potenza in...
Poster
Full-text available
L’obiettivo dello studio è confrontare i valori di potenza alle soglie aerobica (SA) ed anaerobica (SAN) determinate con diversi metodi. Sono stati utilizzati un metabolimetro Cosmed per la misurazione dei parametri respiratori di VO2, VE e VCO2 utili per il calcolo della SA e SAN ventilatorie (SV). Un cardiofrequenzimetro Polar per la misurazione...
Article
The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the recovery pattern of a whole body compression garment on hemodynamic parameters and on ANS activity following a swimming performance. Ten young male athletes were recruited and tested in two different days, with and without wearing the garment during the recovery phase. After a warm-up of 15 minutes,...
Article
Objectives: Late-life major depression is associated with increased cardiovascular risk and impaired autonomic control of the heart, as evident from reduced heart rate variability (HRV). Moreover, antidepressant drug therapy also might be associated with further reductions of HRV. In the SEEDS study, we investigated whether sertraline associated w...
Article
The aim of this study was to examine the differences in visual search behaviour between a group of expert-level and one of novice table tennis players, to determine the temporal and spatial aspects of gaze orientation associated with correct responses. Expert players were classified as successful or unsuccessful depending on their performance in a...
Article
The present study shows the relationship between microsaccades and heading perception. Recent research demonstrates that microsaccades during fixation are necessary to overcome loss of vision due to continuous stimulation of the retinal receptors, even at the potential cost of a decrease in visual acuity. The goal of oculomotor fixational mechanism...
Article
Full-text available
During self-motion, the spatial and temporal properties of the optic flow input directly influence the body sway. Men and women have anatomical and biomechanical differences that influence the postural control during visual stimulation. Given that recent findings suggest a peculiar role of each leg in the postural control of the two genders, we inv...
Article
Full-text available
Microsaccades could indicate the place where our mind is unconsciously focusing, although our gaze is directed elsewhere. Many studies report the importance of microsaccades in visual scene perception, but none of them has addressed their relationship with the perception of a dynamic action and the prediction of its outcome. Expert and novice table...
Article
Gli effetti funzionali che si hanno usando indumenti “a compressione graduata” sono noti ed utilizzati da tempo in medicina vascolare. Il termine graduata” sta ad indicare che l’indumento è costruito in modo tale da comprimere (la compressione è misurabile in mmHg) con intensità maggiore i distretti periferici del corpo, per poi ridurre gradualment...
Article
Full-text available
The present study evaluated the effects of peripheral heart action training compared with high intensity interval training on changes in autonomic regulation and physical fitness. Eighteen young adults (9 women, 9 men) (age 24 ± 3 years, BMI of 22.67 kg/m(2), V'O2max 32.89 ml/kg/min) were randomly assigned to either a high intensity interval traini...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aimed at comparing expert and novice volleyball players in a visuomotor task using realistic stimuli. Videos of a volleyball setter performing offensive action were presented to participants, while their eye movements were recorded by a head-mounted video based eye tracker. Participants were asked to foresee the direction (forward or bac...
Article
Full-text available
Visual search behaviour is believed to be very relevant for athlete performance, especially for sports requiring refined visuo-motor coordination skills. Modern coaches believe that optimal visuo-motor strategy may be part of advanced training programs. Gaze behaviour of expert and novice judo fighters was investigated while they were doing a real...
Article
Full-text available
A feedback control process based on self-motion perception contributes to postural stability; however, little is known about the visual modulation of postural muscles. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of optic flow stimuli, presented full field, in the peripheral and foveal visual field, on muscular activation. Then, we assessed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background / Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the respective contributions of central and peripheral vision and how the direction of optic flow evokes different postural responses at muscle level. We analyzed the bilateral activation of two postural leg muscles: tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius medialis (GNM). Main conclusio...
Article
Full-text available
Male goalkeepers of intermediate skill level attempted to stop penalty kicks executed with the instep and inside foot, in situ. A mobile eye tracker and an external camera were used to collect the gaze and motor behaviors of the goalkeepers, as well as the penalty takers' motor behaviors and flight of the ball. Percent saves was greater during inst...
Article
Full-text available
Visual search strategy in sports may influence performance. Thus it is interesting to investigate oculo-motor behavior of athletes and its possible impingement upon sport training and coaching. The differences in fixations and saccadic eye movements between expert volleyball players and novice subjects was studied, by carrying out a precise analysi...
Article
Full-text available
Visual search and oculomotor behaviour are believed to be very relevant for athlete performance, especially for sports requiring refined visuo-motor coordination skills. Modern coaches believe that a correct visuo-motor strategy may be part of advanced training programs. In this thesis two experiments are reported in which gaze behaviour of expert...

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