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Associated Faculty

Lorella Battelli, PhD

Lorella Battelli, PhD
Assistant Professor

Education History:
Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy
M.Sc., Clinical Psychophysiology and Neuropsychology, University of Padova, Italy
B.A., Psychology, University of Padova, Italy

I am an assistant professor in Neurology, at the Harvard Medical School and a PI at Berenson-Allen Center for Non-invasive Brain Stimulation (BIDMC). I am also director of the Human Behavior and Brain Stimulation Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology, Italy.

The overarching goal of the lab is to understand mechanisms of visual perception and attention in the human brain. While the main focus is on basic science, our research also has a strong translational component, for rehabilitation of stroke patients. The general approach is to use noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS and tRNS) to focally perturb visual/cognitive functions, combined with quantitative visual psychophysics to assay the effects of these causal manipulations. We have extended this integrated approach to examine – and ameliorate – visual and attentional deficits in stroke patients.

Work in the lab focuses on the study of visual and attentional functions in the healthy and diseased brain. Specifically, we have performed studies of inter- and intra-hemispheric connectivity, its impairment in stroke and its recovery after noninvasive brain stimulation as therapeutic treatment. In addition to brain stimulation and behavioral measures, we perform fMRI of both intact and neurologically impaired subjects to study the physiological response after stimulation, and its correlation with behavior.

Our studies have established neuromodulation as a tool to boost cognitive functions in healthy subjects and in stroke patients. More recently, we have used direct current stimulation to dramatically improve visual functions in stroke patients affected by cortical blindness. This newly developed rehabilitation stimulation protocol for stroke patients is a work done in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Rochester (NY) and the Italian Institute of Technology in Italy.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1x9SshiBmr5k4/bibliography/public/.