Arcangelo Merla

Arcangelo Merla
Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara | UNICH · Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences

Ph.D. Biomedical Technology

About

212
Publications
51,962
Reads
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5,291
Citations
Citations since 2016
97 Research Items
3860 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
Additional affiliations
August 2003 - August 2007
University of Houston
Position
  • Professor
September 2002 - September 2015
Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2002 - March 2015
Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • Director of the Infrared Imaging Lab Director of the Near Infrared Spectroscopy Imaging Lab

Publications

Publications (212)
Article
Full-text available
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive neurologic pathology representing a leading cause of spasticity and concerning gait impairments in children. Robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) is widely employed to treat this pathology to improve children’s gait pattern. Importantly, the effectiveness of the therapy is strictly related to the engagement...
Article
Full-text available
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive neurologic condition that causes gait limitations, spasticity, and impaired balance and coordination. Robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) has become a common rehabilitation tool employed to improve the gait pattern of people with neurological impairments. However, few studies have demonstrated the effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract words (e.g., freedom) compose a significant part of speech. Despite this, learning them is complicated. Abstract concepts collect more heterogeneous exemplars and are more detached from sensory modalities than concrete concepts. Recent views propose that, because of their complexity, other people are pivotal for abstract concepts’ acquisit...
Article
Full-text available
Mental workload (MW) represents the amount of brain resources required to perform concurrent tasks. The evaluation of MW is of paramount importance for Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, given its correlation with traffic accidents risk. In the present research, two cognitive tests (Digit Span Test—DST and Ray Auditory Verbal Learning Test—RAVLT)...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive memory failures accompanied by microcirculation alterations. Particularly, impaired endothelial microvascular responsiveness and altered flow motion patterns have been observed in AD patients. Of note, the endothelium influences the vascular tone and also the small superficial blood vessels,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Surgical resection is one of the most relevant practices in neurosurgery. Finding the correct surgical extent of the tumor is a key question and so far several techniques have been employed to assist the neurosurgeon in preserving the maximum amount of healthy tissue. Some of these methods are invasive for patients, not always allowing high precisi...
Article
Rostral PFC (area 10) activation is common during prospective memory (PM) tasks. But it is not clear what mental processes these activations index. Three candidate explanations from cognitive neuroscience theory are: (i) monitoring of the environment; (ii) spontaneous intention retrieval; (iii) a combination of the two. These explanations make diff...
Article
Full-text available
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a reliable tool for the evaluation of several physiological factors modulating the heart rate (HR). Importantly, variations of HRV parameters may be indicative of cardiac diseases and altered psychophysiological conditions. Recently, several studies focused on procedures for contactless HR measurements from facial vi...
Article
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Extensive possibilities of applications have rendered emotion recognition ineluctable and challenging in the fields of computer science as well as in human-machine interaction and affective computing. Fields that, in turn, are increasingly requiring real-time applications or interactions in everyday life scenarios. However, while extremely desirabl...
Article
Full-text available
Infrared thermography (IRT) allows to evaluate the psychophysiological state associated with emotions from facial temperature modulations. As fatigue is a brain-derived emotion, it is possible to hypothesize that facial temperature could provide information regarding the fatigue related to exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the capa...
Article
Since birth, infants have been immersed in a social environment, often surrounded by artificial-intelligent-agents (AIAs). However, there is a paucity of work on infants’ psychophysiological responses, and their related interest, when interacting with AIAs. Here, the infants’ psychophysiological responses during interactions with an embodied robot...
Article
Full-text available
The remote measurement of heart rate (HR) could have many applications, such as health and emotional conditions monitoring. Currently, methods based on visible cameras have been developed for HR estimation. However, the employment of such techniques with scarce illumination conditions could be challenging. Infrared Thermography (IRT) could be a val...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring exercise variables is one of the most important points to consider to maximize physiological adaptations. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a useful method to improve both cardiovascular and neuromuscular performance. The 30–15IFT is a field test reflecting the effort elicited by HIIT, and the final velocity reached in the test i...
Article
Objective: Disturbances in emotional processes are commonly reported in patients with a somatic symptom disorder (SSD). Although emotions usually occur in social interactions, little is known about interpersonal emotion dynamics of SSD patients during their actual emotional encounters. This study examined physiological coherence (linkage) between...
Article
Full-text available
An intriguing challenge in the human–robot interaction field is the prospect of endowing robots with emotional intelligence to make the interaction more genuine, intuitive, and natural. A crucial aspect in achieving this goal is the robot’s capability to infer and interpret human emotions. Thanks to its design and open programming platform, the NAO...
Article
Full-text available
Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a neuroimaging technique that allows to monitor the functional hemoglobin oscillations related to cortical activity. One of the main issues related to fNIRS applications is the motion artefact removal, since a corrupted physiological signal is not correctly indicative of the underlying biological pro...
Article
Full-text available
Social Robots (SRs) are substantially becoming part of modern society, given their frequent use in many areas of application including education, communication, assistance, and entertainment. The main challenge in human–robot interaction is in achieving human-like and affective interaction between the two groups. This study is aimed at endowing SRs...
Article
Objective: Infrared thermography (IRT) is a non-invasive, contactless and low-cost technology that allows recording of the radiating energy that is released from a body, providing an estimate of its superficial temperature. Thanks to the improvement of infrared thermal detectors, this technique is widely used in the biomedical field to monitor the...
Article
Full-text available
Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) is a microvessels’ disorder resulting in transient ischemia. It can be either primary or secondary to connective tissue diseases, such as systemic sclerosis. The differentiation between primary and secondary to systemic sclerosis is of paramount importance to set the proper therapeutic strategy. Thus far, thermal infrared...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with modifications in cerebral blood perfusion and autoregulation. Hence, neurovascular coupling (NC) alteration could become a biomarker of the disease. NC might be assessed in clinical settings through multimodal electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Multimodal EEG-f...
Article
Full-text available
Infrared thermal imaging (IRI) is a contact-less technology able to monitor human skin temperature for biomedical applications and in real-life contexts. Its capacity to detect fever was exploited for mass screening during past epidemic emergencies as well as for the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, the only assessment of fever may not be select...
Article
Full-text available
Background As the human behavior is influenced by both cognition and emotion, affective computing plays a central role in human-machine interaction. Algorithms for emotions recognition are usually based on behavioral analysis or on physiological measurements (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure). Among these physiological signals, pulse wave propagati...
Chapter
Caries and periodontal disease are considered a primary cause of tooth loss and extraction. Implant dentistry has improved the rehabilitation of edentulous patients providing a 10-year success rates of over 97%. However, the insertion torque, the superficial characteristics of the implants, and the heat generated during implant site preparation cou...
Chapter
Mental workload (MW) represents the brain resources an individual devotes to a task. The evaluation of MW is fundamental for Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). To assess MW, non-invasive techniques are preferable to avoid interference with the driver. Infrared Thermal Imaging (fIRI) is highly suited given its contactless nature. The researc...
Chapter
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) represents the most common rheumatologic disease in childhood, often characterized by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disfunction (TMD). The gold standard to diagnose this pathology relies on magnetic resonance imaging. Alternatively, electromyographic (EMG) recordings could provide an early and immediate detection...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by working memory (WM) failures that can be assessed at early stages through administering clinical tests. Ecological neuroimaging, such as Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), may be employed during these tests to support AD early diagnosis within clinical setting...
Article
A software solution for an automated warping procedure of facial InfraRed Imaging (IRI) on a reference template is presented. Visible and IR videos of six subjects’ faces were simultaneously recorded during controlled movement of the head (i.e., yaw, pitch, frown, speaking). Sixty-eight facial landmarks were identified in each frame in the visible...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The care given to moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients may be hampered by the inability to tailor their treatments according to their neurological status. Contrast-enhanced near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with indocyanine green (ICG) could be a suitable neuromonitoring tool. Methods: Monitoring the effective at...
Article
Full-text available
Stroke, if not lethal, is a primary cause of disability. Early assessment of markers of recovery can allow personalized interventions; however, it is difficult to deliver indexes in the acute phase able to predict recovery. In this perspective, evaluation of electrical brain activity may provide useful information. A machine learning approach was e...
Article
Full-text available
Making decisions regarding return-to-play after sport-related concussion (SRC) based on resolution of symptoms alone can expose contact-sport athletes to further injury before their recovery is complete. Task-related functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) could be used to scan for abnormalities in the brain activation patterns of SRC athlete...
Article
Full-text available
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) has been demonstrated to be an effective therapy in several clinical conditions and age groups. Despite the clinical effectiveness, lack of robust data in terms of neurobiological, specifically autonomic, mechanisms of action is observed. Preliminary studies showed a parasympathetic effect leading to a troph...
Article
Full-text available
Traffic accidents determine a large number of injuries, sometimes fatal, every year. Among other factors affecting a driver’s performance, an important role is played by stress which can decrease decision-making capabilities and situational awareness. In this perspective, it would be beneficial to develop a non-invasive driver stress monitoring sys...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To evaluate the changes of retinal capillary nonperfusion areas and retinal capillary vessel density of the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) and deep capillary plexus in patients with diabetes with diabetic macular edema treated with an intravitreal dexamethasone implant (IDI). Methods: We enrolled 28 patients with diabetic retinopath...
Article
Full-text available
Portable neuroimaging technologies can be employed for long-term monitoring of neurophysiological and neuropathological states. Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Electroencephalography (EEG) are highly suited for such a purpose. Their multimodal integration allows the evaluation of hemodynamic and electrical brain activity together...
Article
Full-text available
Contrast-enhanced near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with indocyanine green (ICG) can be a valid non-invasive, continuous, bedside neuromonitoring tool. However, its usage in moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients can be unprecise due to their clinical status. This review is targeted at researchers and clinicians involved in the d...
Article
Full-text available
Over recent years, robots are increasingly being employed in several aspects of modern society. Among others, social robots have the potential to benefit education, healthcare, and tourism. To achieve this purpose, robots should be able to engage humans, recognize users' emotions, and to some extent properly react and "behave" in a natural interact...
Article
Romantic love involves peculiar psychological and neural processes that are closely connected with autonomic-visceral changes. The present study aimed at investigating the thermal response associated to the love induction task. The facial thermal imprints of forty-four people who were in love and in romantic relationships at the time of the experim...
Article
Full-text available
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death. Several markers have been proposed to predict cardiovascular morbidity. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) marker is defined as the ratio between the ankle and the arm systolic blood pressures, and it is generally assessed through sphygmomanometers. An alternative tool for cardiovascular status assess...
Article
Full-text available
We built a fiber-less prototype of an optical system with 156 channels each one consisting of an optode made of a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) and a pair of light emitting diodes (LEDs) operating at 700 nm and 830 nm. The system uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and diffuse optical tomography (DOT) imaging of the cortical activit...
Article
Full-text available
The development and validation of a system for multi-site photoplethysmography (PPG) and electrocardiography (ECG) is presented. The system could acquire signals from 8 PPG probes and 10 ECG leads. Each PPG probe was constituted of a light-emitting diode (LED) source at a wavelength of 940 nm and a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) detector, located i...
Article
Full-text available
Over the recent years, Social Robots (SRs) have become more and more prominent in everyday human lives. The main goal of a SR is to interact and communicate with human by following social behaviors and affective interaction. However, they still encounter significant limitations in pursuing a natural interaction, mainly due to their hard task of rec...
Article
Full-text available
Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a non-invasive technique that employs near infrared light to estimate periodic oscillations in blood volume within arteries caused by the pulse pressure wave. Importantly, combined Electrocardiography (ECG) and PPG can be employed to quantify arterial stiffness. The capabilities of a home-made multi-channel PPG-ECG dev...
Article
Full-text available
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) estimates the functional oscillations of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in the cortex through scalp-located multiwavelength recordings. Hemoglobin oscillations are inferred through temporal changes in continuous-wave (CW) light attenuation. However, because of the diffusive multilayered head tissue s...
Article
The cardiovascular system is designed to distribute a steady flow through its elastic properties. With ageing, fatigue and fracture of elastin lamellae cause a loss of elasticity defined arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness causes changes of the pulse wave propagation through the arterial tree, which volumetric counterpart can be assessed non-inv...
Conference Paper
Development and in-vivo validation of a Continuous Wave (CW) functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) system is presented. The system is wearable, fiber-less, multi-channel (16×16, 256 channels) and expandable and it relies on silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for light detection. SiPMs are inexpensive, low voltage and resilient semiconductor l...
Chapter
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) applied to brain monitoring has been gaining increasing relevance in the last years due to its not invasive nature and the capability to work in combination with other well–known techniques such as the EEG. The possible use cases span from neural-rehabilitation to early diagnosis of some neural diseases...
Article
Full-text available
According to embodied simulation theories, others’ emotions are recognized by the unconscious mimicking of observed facial expressions, which requires the implicit activation of the motor programs that produce a specific expression. Motor responses performed during the expression of a given emotion are hypothesized to be directly linked to autonomi...
Article
Full-text available
Functional infrared imaging (fIRI) is a validated procedure to infer autonomic arousal. Currently, fIRI signals are analysed through descriptive metrics, such as average temperature changes in a region of interest (ROI). However, the employment of mathematical models could provide a powerful tool for the accurate identification of autonomic activit...