Pietro Morasso

Pietro Morasso
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia | IIT · Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences

About

431
Publications
46,225
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
11,574
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (431)
Preprint
The assessment of general movements (GMs) in infants is a useful tool in the early diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, its evaluation in clinical practice relies on visual inspection by experts, and an automated solution is eagerly awaited. Recently, video-based GMs classification has attracted attention, but this approach would be...
Article
Full-text available
Fatigue is a temporary condition that arises as a result of intense and/or prolonged use of muscles and can affect skilled human performance. Therefore, the quantitative analysis of these effects is a topic of crucial interest in both ergonomics and clinical settings. This study introduced a novel protocol, based on robotic techniques, to quantitat...
Article
The development of a language of action representation is a central issue for cognitive robotics, motor neuroscience, ergonomics, sport, and arts with a double goal: analysis and synthesis of action sequences that preserve the spatiotemporal invariants of biological motion, including the associated goals of learning and training. However, the notat...
Article
Full-text available
The human “marionette” is extremely complex and multi-articulated: anatomical redundancy (in terms of Degrees of Freedom: DoFs), kinematic redundancy (movements can have different trajectories, velocities, and accelerations and yet achieve the same goal, according to the principle of Motor Equivalence), and neurophysiological redundancy (many more...
Conference Paper
In this study, we implemented a protocol for the robotic assessment of the effects of forearm muscle fatigue on wrist dynamics. The potential of robotic devices lies in the possibility to control and measure a wide variety of kinematic and physiological variables, both in repeated sessions over time and during real-time assessments. The implemented...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we designed a robot-based method to compute a mechanical impedance model that could extract the viscoelastic properties of the wrist joint. Thirteen subjects participated in the experiment, testing both dominant and nondominant hands. Specifically, the robotic device delivered position-controlled disturbances in the flexion-extension...
Article
The next generation of robotic agents, to employed both in industrial and service robotic applications, will be characterized by a high degree of Human-Robot Partnership that implies, for example, sharing common objectives, bidirectional flow of information, capability to learn from each other, and availability to mutual training. Moreover, there i...
Article
Full-text available
A deep investigation of proprioceptive processes is necessary to understand the relationship between sensory afferent inputs and motor outcomes. In this work, we investigate whether and how perception of wrist position is influenced by the direction along which the movement occurs. Most previous studies have tested Joint Position Sense (JPS) throug...
Article
This brief commentary on the general topic of ‘body schema’ is focused on its computational role, as an internal model that integrates proprioceptive information, for allowing embodied cognitive agents to carry out the neural simulation of covert and overt actions in a unitary manner. The discussion takes inspiration from the vintage but still vali...
Chapter
Ähnlich und doch verschieden: Sinn und Sinne im Tanz. Sinn steht für Sinnhaftes, für Einsicht und Vernunft – und mit Sinne wird alles Sinnliche, wird Erfahrung und Wahrnehmung verbunden. Tanz macht Sinn, Tanz ist Sinnlichkeit. Aus der Reibung dieser beiden Pole entstehen für den künstlerischen Tanz wie auch für deren Erforschung neuartige Ansätze....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Movements are associated with a beta (15-30 Hz) power decrease during movement preparation and a rebound after its termination. Motor learning and practice are characterized by an increase of the rebound. However, the introduction of a sensorimotor perturbation negatively affects such measure. In this preliminary study, we investigated whether two...
Article
Background and Objectives: The number of preterm babies is steadily growing world-wide and these neonates are at risk of neuro-motor-cognitive deficits. The observation of spontaneous movements in the first three months of age is known to predict such risk. However, the analysis by specifically trained physiotherapists is not suited for the clinica...
Article
Full-text available
Postural instability is one of the major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Here, we assimilated a model of intermittent delay feedback control during quiet standing into postural sway data from healthy young and elderly individuals as well as patients with Parkinson’s disease to elucidate the possible mechanisms of instability. Specifically, we esti...
Article
Full-text available
This study proposes a generalization of the ankle and hip postural strategies to be applied to the large class of skills that share the same basic challenge of defeating the destabilizing effect of gravity on the basis of the same neuromotor control organization, adapted and specialized to a variable number of degrees of freedom, different body par...
Chapter
Ähnlich und doch verschieden: Sinn und Sinne im Tanz. Sinn steht für Sinnhaftes, für Einsicht und Vernunft - und mit Sinne wird alles Sinnliche, wird Erfahrung und Wahrnehmung verbunden. Tanz macht Sinn, Tanz ist Sinnlichkeit. Aus der Reibung dieser beiden Pole entstehen für den künstlerischen Tanz wie auch für deren Erforschung neuartige Ansätze....
Article
Full-text available
Human reaching movement is characterized by the invariant features of linearity and the symmetrical bell-shaped velocity profile of the hand trajectory. Reaching movement has been widely evaluated in fields such as rehabilitation and interface design; however, no standardized protocols exist for data collection, processing, or analysis. This paper...
Article
Full-text available
Balancing the body in upright standing and balancing a stick on the fingertip are two examples of unstable tasks that, in spite of strong motor and sensory differences, appear to share a similar motor control paradigm, namely a state-space intermittent feedback stabilization mechanism. In this study subjects were required to perform the two tasks s...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining balance standing upright is an active process that complements the stabilizing properties of muscle stiffness with feedback control driven by independent sensory channels: proprioceptive, visual, and vestibular. Considering that the contribution of these channels is additive, we investigated to what extent providing an additional channe...
Article
Full-text available
The 1/f-like gait cycle variability, characterized by temporal changes in stride-time intervals during steady-state human walking, is a well-documented gait characteristic. Such gait fractality is apparent in healthy young adults, but tends to disappear in the elderly and patients with neurological diseases. However, mechanisms that give rise to ga...
Article
Objective: To determine whether different phenotypes of cervical dystonia (CD) express different types and levels of somatosensory impairment. Methods: We assessed somatosensory function in patients with CD with and without tremor (n = 12 each) and in healthy age-matched controls (n = 22) by measuring tactile temporal discrimination thresholds o...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Several daily living activities require people to coordinate the motion and the force produced by both arms, using their position sense and sense of effort. However, to date, the interaction in bimanual tasks has not been extensively investigated. Methods: We focused on bimanual tasks where subjects were required: (Experiment 1) to m...
Article
Full-text available
Neuromotor disorders negatively affect the sensorimotor system, limiting the ability to perform daily activities autonomously. Rehabilitation of upper limb impairments is therefore essential to improve independence and quality of life. In the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in robot-assisted rehabilitation as a beneficial way to...
Article
Proprioceptive information allows humans to perform smooth coordinated movements by constantly updating one's mind with knowledge of the position of one's limbs in space. How this information is combined with other sensory modalities and centrally processed to form conscious perceptions of limb position remains relatively unknown. What has proven e...
Conference Paper
Balancing a stick on the fingertip while standing upright is a dual balancing task that requires the integration of two independent control systems. This is a completely novel experimental paradigm for attempting to understand how the brain deals with equilibrium in a general way. Preliminary results are presented and interpreted in the framework o...
Conference Paper
Many complex activities of daily living are characterized by instabilities. From a motor control point of view, there are two alternative stabilization mechanisms that require to integrate multi-joint coordination aspects: stiffness and positional stabilization strategies. The aim of this work is to understand how the central nervous system can swi...
Conference Paper
Innovative research in the fields of prosthetic, neurorehabilitation, motor control and human physiology has been focusing on the study of proprioception, the sense through which we perceive the position and movement of our body, and great achievements have been obtained regarding its assessment and characterization. However, how proprioceptive sig...
Article
Full-text available
Stabilization of the CIP (Cart Inverted Pendulum) is an analogy to stick balancing on a finger and is an example of unstable tasks that humans face in everyday life. The difficulty of the task grows exponentially with the decrease of the length of the stick and a stick length of 32 cm is considered as a human limit even for well-trained subjects. M...
Article
Full-text available
In the study of balance and postural control the (Single) Inverted Pendulum model (SIP) has been taken for a long time as an acceptable paradigm, with the implicit assumption that only ankle rotations are relevant for describing and explaining sway movements. However, more recent kinematic analysis of quiet standing revealed that hip motion cannot...
Data
Data from the simulation of the DIP/VIP hybrid model. In the Table are presented the angles and angular accelerations of Ankle (q1) and Hip (q2.). (ZIP)
Chapter
Full-text available
Several daily life tasks require us to coordinate the motion and the force produced by both hands, using our position sense as well as sense of effort. However, the interaction between these in bimanual tasks is not extensively investigated. In this work we focused on bimanual tasks where subjects were require either (1) to place the hands in a sam...
Chapter
The assessment of muscle fatigue could provide crucial information to monitor the progression of a neuromuscular disease, as well as evidences about the efficacy of an eventual therapeutic approach. The aim of the present work is to test the feasibility of a novel method based on a robotic wrist device and sEMG, on neuromuscular pediatric subjects...
Article
Full-text available
Background Several neuromuscular disorders present muscle fatigue as a typical symptom. Therefore, a reliable method of fatigue assessment may be crucial for understanding how specific disease features evolve over time and for developing effective rehabilitation strategies. Unfortunately, despite its importance, a standardized, reliable and objecti...
Preprint
The fractality of human gait, namely, the long-range correlation that characterizes scale-free fluctuations of gait descriptors, such as the stride intervals during steady-state walking, depends on the well-tuned organization of the sensorimotor controller. Gait fractality is apparent in healthy young adults but tends to disappear in elderly indivi...
Article
Full-text available
The next generation of robot companions or robot working partners will need to satisfy social requirements somehow similar to the famous laws of robotics envisaged by Isaac Asimov time ago (Asimov, 1942). The necessary technology has almost reached the required level, including sensors and actuators, but the cognitive organization is still in its i...
Article
Emerging trends in neurosciences are providing converging evidence that cortical networks in predominantly motor areas are activated in several contexts related to 'action' that do not cause any overt movement. Indeed for any complex body, human or embodied robot inhabiting unstructured environments, the dual processes of shaping motor output durin...
Article
Full-text available
Proprioception combines information from cutaneous, joint, tendon, and muscle receptors for maintaining a reliable internal body image. However, it is still a matter of debate, in both neurophysiology and psychology, to what extent such body image is modified or distorted by a changing haptic environment. In particular, what is worth investigating...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Proprioceptive signals from cutaneous, joint, tendon and muscle receptors create the basis for bodily perception and are known to be essential for motor control. However, which are the mechanisms underlying the proprioceptive signals and which are the variables that affect them is still a matter of debate. In particular, what is worth to investigat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study examined wrist proprioception in a cross-sectional sample of 44 children aged between 8-to 14-years and a control group of 10 neurologically and physically healthy adults. Using a 3-degrees of freedom robotic device, participants performed an ipsilateral joint position matching task in which target amplitude (40% or 80% functional range...
Article
Since its inception, Robotics has had a profound impact on our understanding of how the brain constructs movements, processes sensory information and adapts to variable environments. In more recent times it has entered the clinical domain of sensory-motor rehabilitation for survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabling neurological co...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In daily life it is necessary to learn skills that can be applied in different tasks and different contexts. Usually these skills are acquired by observation or by direct physical training with another expert person. The critical point is to know which is the best possible way to achieve this knowledge acquisition. In this work we have proposed a c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this work we propose a novel method based on sEMG signals, easy and fast to perform, administered with a robotic device to maximize repeatability and objectivity. Muscle fatigue, which is frequently experienced by healthy subjects, can be a highly debilitating symptom in case of neuromuscular disorders. Its assessment provides crucial informatio...
Article
Various studies have been conducted in the field of the development/deterioration of standing and walking ability. In standing and walking control strategy, the relationship linking visual/somatosensory/vestibular-system information and physical movement is important. Researchers have previously sought to evaluate attitude control based on human se...
Article
It is known that physical coupling between two subjects may be advantageous in joint tasks. However, little is known about how two people mutually exchange information to exploit the coupling. Therefore we adopted a reversed, novel perspective to the standard one that focuses on the ability of physically coupled subjects to adapt to cooperative con...
Article
Full-text available
During any goal oriented behavior the dual processes of generation of dexterous actions and anticipation of the consequences of potential actions must seamlessly alternate. This article presents a unified neural framework for generation and forward simulation of goal directed actions and validates the architecture through diverse experiments on hum...
Article
In this paper we present a case study in which a 14-year-old, right-handed stroke patient with severe weakness, spasticity, and motor dysfunction of the left upper extremity participated in a three-month distal robotic training program. The robotic device was compliant to the patient's movements and was able to modulate the level of assistance cont...
Article
Full-text available
Background Several neurodevelopmental disorders and brain injuries in children have been associated with proprioceptive dysfunction that will negatively affect their movement. Unfortunately, there is lack of reliable and objective clinical examination protocols and our current knowledge of how proprioception evolves in typically developing children...
Article
Full-text available
Human postural sway during stance arises from coordinated multi-joint movements. Thus, a sway trajectory represented by a time-varying postural vector in the multiple-joint-angle-space tends to be constrained to a low-dimensional subspace. It has been proposed that the subspace corresponds to a manifold defined by a kinematic constraint, such that...
Article
Full-text available
This work examines physiological mechanisms underlying the position sense of the wrist, namely, the codification of proprioceptive information related to pointing movements of the wrist toward kinesthetic targets. Twenty-four healthy subjects participated to a robot-aided assessment of their wrist proprioceptive acuity to investigate if the sensori...
Article
Full-text available
Proprioceptive signals from peripheral mechanoreceptors form the basis for bodily perception and are known to be essential for motor control. However we still have an incomplete understanding of how proprioception differs between joints, whether it differs among the various degrees-of-freedom (DoFs) within a particular joint, and how such differenc...
Conference Paper
In everyday life the brain must adapt to variable situations that may require a mixture of approaches including anticipatory synergy formation, through an internal body schema, and different control strategies. Unstable tasks are particularly challenging because deteriorate the predictive power of internal models and further enhance the instability...
Conference Paper
Intermittent feedback control for stabilizing human upright stance is a promising strategy, alternative to the standard time-continuous stiffness control. Here we show that such an intermittent controller can be established naturally through reinforcement learning. To this end, we used a single inverted pendulum model of the upright posture and a v...
Conference Paper
Physical interaction between man and machines is increasing the interest of the research as well as the industrial community. It is known that physical coupling between active persons can be beneficial and increase the performance of the dyad compared to an individual. However, the factors that may result in performance benefits are still poorly un...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging studies indicate that several species such as corvids, apes and children solve ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’ task (from Aesop's Fables) in diverse conditions. Hidden beneath this fascinating paradigm is a fundamental question: by cumulatively interacting with different objects, how can an agent abstract the underlying cause–effect relations t...
Conference Paper
Despite being so similar from a biomechanical perspective, the left and the right arms develop with dif- ferent dexterity and important functional differences. This asymmetry in motor performance, most commonly known as handedness, has been extensively investigated in numerous research. However, whether such a dominance exists in the proprioceptive...
Chapter
In this article, we address issues about human motor control system that can achieve two apparently contrasting goals at the same time, namely, dynamic stability and flexibility of movement, in particular, during bipedal standing and walking. Arguments are made based on the steady states of the system for those motor behaviors, i.e., upright postur...