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Luca Lo Verde

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Luca Lo Verde

PhD in Neuroscience, Università degli Studi di Firenze


  • Email (institution): luca.loverde (AT) unifi.it
  • Email (personal): luca.loverde0 (AT) gmail.com
  • Mobile phone: +39 328 747 4206

Research laboratories

  • CNR Institute of Neuroscience, Pisa
  • Department of Translational Research
    on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery,
    University of Pisa


  • 2015 - 2019: PhD Candidate, Dottorato Toscano in Neuroscienze (Tuscan PhD in Neuroscience), Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
  • 2014 - 2015: Research Assistant at the Pisa Vision Laboratory, Institute of Neuroscience of the Italian Research Council (CNR), and Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, Pisa, Italy
  • 2011 - 2014: MS Psychology (curriculum Neuropsychology and Cognitive Assessment), 110/110 cum laude, Scuola di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
  • 2007 - 2011: BS General and Experimental Psychology, Facoltà di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy

Current research and interests

  • Multi-sensory perception
  • Binocular Rivalry
  • Cortical plasticity
  • Research technologies and methods


  • Lo Verde, Lunghi, Morrone, Short-term monocular deprivation modulates early visuo-haptic interactions during binocular rivalry, Institute of Neuroscience – CNR Pisa RETREAT, 13th -15th May 2015
  • Lo Verde, L., Morrone, M. C., Lunghi, C. (2015). Short-term monocular deprivation modulates early visuo-haptic interactions during binocular rivalry. [IMRF 2015: Poster].

  • Lo Verde, L., Adaptability and plasticity of the human sensory systems. Supervisor: Prof. Maria Concetta Morrone. Dottorato Toscano in Neuroscienze (Tuscan PhD course in Neuroscience), Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy (2019).
  • Lo Verde, L., Effetti della deprivazione monoculare a breve termine sull'interazione visuo-aptica negli umani adulti. Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy (2014).



Lo Verde, L., Alais, D., Burr, D. C., Morrone, M. C., MacDougall, H., & Verstraten, F. A. J. (2019). Time dilation effect in an active observer and virtual environment requires apparent motion: No dilation for retinal- or world-motion alone. Journal of Vision, 19(3), 4.  PDF

It is known that moving visual stimuli are perceived to last longer than stationary stimuli with the same physical duration (Kanai, Paffen, Hogendoorn, & Verstraten, 2006), and that motor actions (Tomassini & Morrone, 2016) and eye movements (Morrone, Ross, & Burr, 2005) can alter perceived duration. In the present work, we investigated the contributions of stimulus motion and self-motion to perceived duration while observers stood or walked in a virtual reality environment. Using a visual temporal reproduction task, we independently manipulated both the participants' motion (stationary or walking) and the stimulus motion (retinal stationary, real-world stationary and negative double velocity). When the observers were standing still, drifting gratings were perceived as lasting longer than duration-matched static gratings. Interestingly, we did not see any time distortion when observers were walking, neither when the gratings were kept stationary relative to the observer's point of view (i.e., no retinal motion) nor when they were stationary in the external world (i.e., producing the same retinal velocity as the walking condition with stationary grating). Self-motion caused significant dilation in perceived duration only when the gratings were moving at double speed, opposite to the observers' walking direction. Consistent with previous work (Fornaciai, Arrighi, & Burr, 2016), this suggests that the system is able to suppress self-generated motion to enhance external motion, which would have ecological benefits, for example, for threat detection while navigating through the environment.


Lunghi, C., Lo Verde, L. & Alais, D. (2017). Touch Accelerates Visual Awareness, Iperception, 1 (8), 2041669516686986. PDF

To efficiently interact with the external environment, our nervous system combines information arising from different sensory modalities. Recent evidence suggests that cross-modal interactions can be automatic and even unconscious, reflecting the ecological relevance of cross-modal processing. Here, we use continuous flash suppression (CFS) to directly investigate whether haptic signals can interact with visual signals outside of visual awareness. We measured suppression durations of visual gratings rendered invisible by CFS either during visual stimulation alone or during visuo-haptic stimulation. We found that active exploration of a haptic grating congruent in orientation with the suppressed visual grating reduced suppression durations both compared with visual-only stimulation and to incongruent visuo-haptic stimulation. We also found that the facilitatory effect of touch on visual suppression disappeared when the visual and haptic gratings were mismatched in either spatial frequency or orientation. Together, these results demonstrate that congruent touch can accelerate the rise to consciousness of a suppressed visual stimulus and that this unconscious cross-modal interaction depends on visuo-haptic congruency. Furthermore, since CFS suppression is thought to occur early in visual cortical processing, our data reinforce the evidence suggesting that visuo-haptic interactions can occur at the earliest stages of cortical processing.


Lo Verde, L., Morrone, M. C. & Lunghi, C. (2017). Early Cross-modal Plasticity in Adults, J Cogn Neurosci, 3 (29), 520-529. PDF

It is known that, after a prolonged period of visual deprivation, the adult visual cortex can be recruited for nonvisual processing, reflecting cross-modal plasticity. Here, we investigated whether cross-modal plasticity can occur at short timescales in the typical adult brain by comparing the interaction between vision and touch during binocular rivalry before and after a brief period of monocular deprivation, which strongly alters ocular balance favoring the deprived eye. While viewing dichoptically two gratings of orthogonal orientation, participants were asked to actively explore a haptic grating congruent in orientation to one of the two rivalrous stimuli. We repeated this procedure before and after 150 min of monocular deprivation. We first confirmed that haptic stimulation interacted with vision during rivalry promoting dominance of the congruent visuo-haptic stimulus and that monocular deprivation increased the deprived eye and decreased the nondeprived eye dominance. Interestingly, after deprivation, we found that the effect of touch did not change for the nondeprived eye, whereas it disappeared for the deprived eye, which was potentiated after deprivation. The absence of visuo-haptic interaction for the deprived eye lasted for over 1 hr and was not attributable to a masking induced by the stronger response of the deprived eye as confirmed by a control experiment. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the adult human visual cortex retains a high degree of cross-modal plasticity, which can occur even at very short timescales.

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